Teachers' appraisal system fair, but MOE will continue to finetune it
But MOE says it will continue to fine-tune appraisal system to develop potential of teachers
The teacher appraisal system is fair and just, but the Ministry of Education (MOE) will continue to fine-tune the system, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary Low Yen Ling in Parliament yesterday.
This came amid questions from three Members of Parliament on the necessity of the ranking system for teachers, which could disadvantage some educators.
Ms Low said: "MOE will continue to fine-tune our appraisal system with the focus of supporting the development opportunities and potential of our teachers.
"While there are debates about the pros and cons of ranking, it has been proven that ranking imposes objectivity, fairness, rigour and discipline in the appraisal system."
She added that the system will help to differentiate the educators' performance relative to their peers, and it also helps to establish a common standard of performance.
Mr Zainal Sapari, one of the MPs who spoke on this topic yesterday, told The New Paper that teachers wanted to know if the system had been reviewed and the possible alternatives to the appraisal system when he engaged the Singapore Teachers' Union in September.
Currently, educators are assessed according to their substantive grades, where newer teachers are usually given a lower grade.
But if a teacher in a particular substantive grade is given a higher appointment, such as Head of Department, other teachers in the same grade may lose out, even though they are performing well.
Ms Low said: "Currently, MOE follows the civil service, which is to conduct performance ranking with officers of the same substantive grade... We certainly want to do so in a manner that is fair and just, and recognises the efforts of our passionate teachers."
Addressing the other concerns of some teachers being disadvantaged during the appraisal system, such as in cases where they have more vocal supervisors or those who are more visible in their work, Ms Low said MOE takes into account multiple views during the teacher's appraisal.
"Other than taking in the inputs of the direct supervisor, we complement the individual assessment by the direct supervisor with the views of the ranking panel, which will comprise both direct and indirect supervisors who have worked with a broad base of educators to ensure that we arrive at a fair and just assessment for our educators."
She added that MOE had reviewed many of the awards given to educators to make sure that it does not create unnecessary competition among teachers.
Ms Low said: "At the same time, we also want to make sure there are also avenues for us to express gratitude and recognise the efforts of our teachers."