MOE to focus on values, character education

Faris Mokhtar

The priority in the years ahead will be to teach students about values and character so as to better prepare them for the 21st century, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday morning.

Speaking at the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) work plan seminar, he highlighted the need to focus on holistic education and to move toward an education system that is more student-centric.

One way the ministry will seek to achieve its goals is through a new Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) framework, comprising of various initiatives found in National Education, Co-curricular Activities (CCA) and Civic and Moral Education. The new CCE Branch will be set up by next year.

MOE will also be reviewing current schemes, one of which is the grading scheme used to award CCA points. It will be adjusted to place greater emphasis on holistic and balanced participation rather than just the students’ achievement. The School Excellence Model and Masterplan of Awards, introduced in 1998, will be realigned to be more student-centric with less administrative work required from the schools.

Heng said, “We need personal values to enable each of us to have the confidence, self awareness, grit and determination to succeed. We need moral values, such as respect, responsibility, care and appreciation towards others to guide each of us to be a socially responsible person.

"We need values of citizenship. As a young nation with a short history of independence, we must have informed, rugged and resilient citizens who can stay united to overcome crisis and adversities which we must expect to happen from time to time."

Heng also stressed the importance of engaging parents and the community to help instill values in students.

“Many teachable moments occur in activities outside the classroom environment; outside schools. And values need to be augmented and reinforced by the community and parents,” he said.