More career, education counsellors for secondary schools and JCs
Secondary schools and JCs to have more education and career guidance counsellors
Students in secondary schools and junior colleges will have greater access to career guidance from next year, to help them better handle the fast-changing education and jobs landscape.
This comes amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to greater uncertainties in career prospects and job opportunities, especially for fresh graduates.
The junior colleges will each have one education and career guidance counsellor, while there will be one counsellor to every two secondary schools.
This is up from a ratio of one counsellor to four schools currently, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday.
He was speaking in a video addressed to educators in commemoration of Teachers' Day today.
The number of student welfare officers in schools will also be doubled, to better help vulnerable students.
They support teachers and work with other school staff and community partners to strengthen the safety net, as well as address barriers to school attendance and learning for at-risk students.
The increase in career counsellors and welfare officers will be implemented in phases, starting from January next year. Staff in both of these roles fall under the umbrella of allied educators.
To provide the different groups of allied educators with more opportunities for progression, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said it will increase the number of middle- and senior-level positions.
This is also to nurture various domain expertise and strengthen professional leadership.
Over the next few years, there will also be "a significant number" of master teachers posted to schools, the ministry announced.
Master teachers spend their time on policy and coordination work at the national level and are now primarily based in MOE headquarters, though they also spend time on school attachments to keep up with class practices and developments on the ground.
Mr Wong added: "(Master teachers) play a critical role in sharing effective teaching practices in the classroom, prototyping new teaching methodologies and supporting policy and programmatic work related to teaching and learning at the national level."
He noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has clearly shown the importance of being able to adapt and innovate pedagogical practices.
Mr Wong said the initiative is "a significant move, signalling our commitment to strengthen the teaching track, and our continued investments to create a quality teaching workforce as the backbone of our education system".
He added: "Our schools today are multi-faceted communities because that is what it takes to nurture our students holistically.
"It takes people with different skills - teachers, allied educators, education and career guidance counsellors - all working together towards a common goal."