720 geared for focus on character education

720 geared for focus on character education

About 720 primary and secondary school teachers have been trained in character and citizenship education (CCE) in a Ministry of Education drive to instil empathy in students.

After completing two-week sessions last year, they will now impart values to their students as well as train and collaborate with other teachers to incorporate character education into lessons.

The ministry, which revealed the figure earlier this month, renewed its emphasis on CCE in 2011.

Under the CCE curriculum, students learn about caring for their surroundings through 06c3ommunity involvement projects and values such as resilience.

At Haig Girls' School in Joo Chiat, CCE lessons begin from Primary 1 when pupils learn to care for animals. By Primary 6, they carry out projects at places like the Singapore School for the Deaf.

Ms Gidwani Poojalal, the school's CCE head, said: "We want to let the pupils know they can make a difference, no matter how old they are."

Character education expert Marvin Berkowitz told The Straits Times that service learning teaches students "so much about selflessness" - but stressed that the key to it lies in building strong teacher-student relationships.

"When (teachers) create relationships, empower students, make them feel like they belong to the community, they learn more and do better academically," he said.

This article was first published on June 18, 2014.
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