Thursday, 15 November 2012

MOE to roll out new syllabus for Character & Citizenship Education

By Sharon See, Channel NewsAsia, 14 Nov 2012

From 2014, all primary and secondary schools will offer the new Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) syllabus.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said the new syllabus is linked to the life experience of students so that they can relate to it more readily.

Identity, relationships and choices, core concepts of the new syllabus, will be delivered through different activities like storytelling and discussions, such as a mini version of Our Singapore Conversation, where students like Soh Pei Xuan discuss current issues.

Soh, who is currently in primary 5, said: "... I think it (CCE) is quite meaningful and it teaches us to be more caring towards others."

CCE lessons will be conducted in the Mother Tongue, but it will also be taught through interactions with the form teacher.

Schools will also be able to customise lessons that reflect their school values.

One new component is "Family Time", which has suggestions for activities that allow parents to bond with their children and support CCE.

Mr Heng believes this component will complement the efforts from the schools.

"It provides for better bonding as well as greater involvement of parents and the community, and this is a very important effort because I think schools alone cannot succeed without the support of the parents and the community," said Mr Heng.

Core values like responsibility and integrity would not just be learned through formalised lessons.

A teacher at Yangzheng Primary School, Elena Tan, said teachers will also try to seize on 'teachable moments' during other lessons to explain these values.

"For example, in terms of Science, through these experiments, I can teach them values such as perseverance where sometimes, you don't get the first try right all the time," added Miss Tan.

Some teachers said the challenge is to get students to internalise these values and apply them to their daily lives.

To do that, the teachers added that one way is to frequently appreciate and recognise the effort made by students who do the right thing as that would then encourage them to continue to do more good.

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