Improve teacher training

The alleged child abuse incident in a childcare centre ("Teacher held after video shows 'abuse' of boy, 3"; Monday), coupled with recent reports of misdemeanours committed by educators, raises questions over the training of teachers.

Teachers should not only be competent in the subjects they teach and have good pedagogical skills, but also respect the code of ethics that educators ought to uphold.

Most training curricula for teachers lack formal and systematic modules that instruct them on ethics, and how to deal with students or control their emotions in a stressful classroom environment.

The authorities should address this problem by making it mandatory for ethics and anger management to be core modules in teacher training programmes.

Teacher training institutes should focus on imparting the right values and attitudes to educators such that these become second nature to them.

Teachers are important role models for their students.

Most educators here fulfil this role. However, it is worrying to see an increasing number of bad apples spoiling the barrel and bringing the noble vocation into disrepute.

Ng Qi Siang

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