New road map offers more training for teachers
More professional training is on the way for teachers, with a new road map for them to meet students' changing needs.
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday listed six priority areas his ministry has identified. This is part of an updated road map called SkillsFuture for Educators, in line with the national movement to keep learning.
"The most important common success factor for all the changes we are making is our teachers," he said, during the debate on his ministry's budget.
From this month, teachers are encouraged to work towards having a "proficient" level of practice - which is not more than 20 hours of professional development - in each of these six areas over a period of five years.
One key area is in assessment literacy, or being able to gauge students' progress and learning gaps through different types of assessment, as schools move away from an over-emphasis on academic results.
Other aspects are learning how to teach classes of mixed-ability students, supporting those with special needs, and using inquiry-based learning - or getting students to play a more active role in learning.
Mr Ong said teachers contributed to the six areas of interest.
"Our teachers were very forthcoming with their input because they want to learn, be good at what they are doing and grow in their careers. They do not see professional development and teaching duties as a zero-sum game," he said.
Teachers have 100 hours they can use yearly for professional development, through courses, research projects or peer networking groups, among others.
The revised training requirement is within this load of 100 hours a year, said an Education Ministry spokesman.
"As teachers have five years to space out their professional development priorities, the introduction of SkillsFuture for Educators will be manageable in the overall workload of teachers," she said.