10 teachers given Caring Teacher Awards
When one of Ms Nor Faatihah Haron's N-level student started missing school regularly, she went to the student's home, and found out that the girl has a complex family situation.
She spoke to the student to find out how she could offer support and motivation, and one day accompanied her to school via public transport.
Since then, the student attended school more often and showed interest in lessons.
She completed her studies that year and thanked Ms Faatihah for not giving up on her and helping her to get into the Institute of Education course she was interested in.
For showing kindness and going beyond her duty as a teacher, Boon Lay Secondary School nominated Ms Faatihah for this year's Caring Teacher Award.
The award is given to teachers for their outstanding commitment to the holistic development of their students, said National Institute of Education (NIE).
Ms Faatihah, 35, was one of four teachers presented the National Level Award at a ceremony on Tuesday at NUS High School of Mathematics and Science. Six other teachers received the National Commendation Award.
About 11,000 nominations from 239 schools were submitted for the 14th Caring Teacher Awards. This is almost double the 6,000 nominations from 225 schools received in 2020.
The recipients, from primary and secondary schools, and junior colleges or pre-university institutes, were selected by an external panel of judges.
The biennial awards are supported by ExxonMobil Asia Pacific and the Ministry of Education.
Ms Faatihah, who has been teaching Malay in Boon Lay Secondary for 11 years, said: "I hope I can make a difference in their (students') lives, not just in the academic aspect. I hope they can develop lifelong skills in my classes, and also form attitudes that will help them in the workforce."
Second Minister for Education Maliki Osman, who was guest of honour at the event, told teachers in his key-note speech: "All of you have shown care and concern for the holistic development of your students, despite the highly stressful situation brought about by the constantly changing health situation during the height of the (Covid-19) pandemic.
"Putting safe management measures in place, checking on the well-being of your students, and ensuring that learning continues to take place in spite of the dynamic situation. This has left a deep positive impact on your students and peers. This is truly inspirational."
Mrs Irene Say, 37, another National Level Award winner, who has been teaching mathematics and science for 10 years in Elias Park Primary School, started a programme that gets disadvantaged students to do craft work with the elderly at Pasir Ris Community Club.
The objective is to help the students hone their social skills, boost their self-esteem and contribute to the school and community.
Together with her student development team, Mrs Say also oversees a programme that ropes in student mentors from Tampines-Meridian Junior College to coach pupils under the Financial Assistance Scheme in their studies and improve their social skills.
And the winners are...
National Level Award
Mrs Irene Say-Lee Siew Hui, Elias Park Primary School
Madam Zubaidah Ahmat, Holy Innocents' Primary School
Ms Nor Faatihah Haron, Boon Lay Secondary School
Ms Li Qianyi, Clementi Town Secondary School
National Commendation Award
Miss Sieow Je Yun, Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School
Ms Eugenia Ong, Punggol Green Primary School
Mr Abu Naeem Hairon, Yangzheng Primary School
Madam Yeo Leng, Ang Mo Kio Secondary School
Ms See Hui Chen, Millennia Institute
Ms Sandhya Perryn Singh, Victoria Junior College