Sending teachers on work attachments outside the education sector requires a collective effort: Chan Chun Sing

Sending teachers on work attachments outside the education sector requires a collective effort: Chan Chun Sing

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Education (MOE) held its first in-person work plan seminar since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday (Sep 14) to discuss priorities and innovation in education. 

During the seminar, about 1,500 school leaders and teachers came together to discuss the capabilities and competencies that students will need in time to come, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing told reporters at the sidelines of the event.

He also commended the Teacher Work Attachment Plus programme which has so far matched about 150 teachers to roles in different sectors like manufacturing, environment and trade and connectivity.

The programme was rolled out in 2022, and since then, about 80 teachers have completed their attachments, said MOE in a separate statement. 

Teachers can sign up for it based on their own interests and get their school principal’s endorsement before submitting their application. The work attachment period is typically between two and four weeks.

The Education Ministry will continue to work with schools to ensure that more teachers can benefit from the programme, the statement read. 

The expansion of the teacher work attachment programme has a few objectives, said Mr Chan. 

“I think we all know our teachers work very hard. Regularly, they also want to be given a break to learn something new for themselves. We have a saying in MOE, you cannot keep pouring from an empty cup,” he added. 

Opportunities outside of the school system give teachers the credibility to guide students on their future career choices or career paths, said the Education Minister. 

“During the session just now, we also have various educators who were previously from other industries who have come to join the education service, and they also bring with them a different set of experiences that can enrich the whole learning environment,” said Mr Chan. 

Those who spoke during the seminar said teachers and school leadership will need to commit to spending time and management bandwidth to plan for teachers to go out on industry attachments, he noted. 

“When we plan for someone to go out for exposure, it must be intentional. What kind of sectors suit the individual, how much time they spend, who to cover their duties while they are away,” said Mr Chan. 

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