Twenty-three retiring education officers were acknowledged for their years of service at the 16th Appointment and Appreciation Ceremony for Principals on Friday at Shangri-La Hotel.
Another 61 principals were officially appointed and redeployed.
Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat said in a speech on Friday that principals manage a range of complex demands and that the challenges they face may not be obvious to members of the public.
"There is the list of to-dos from MOE HQ; you have to coach younger teachers who have joined us recently; and some parents can be quite demanding," he said.
Mr Heng also said that they should "push the frontiers of learning".
He said this could be done in three areas: by harnessing children's imagination to help them learn better, by paying attention to social emotional learning and by helping to expand their horizons.
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