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Outstanding non-graduate teachers could get graduate pay

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat says a new performance-based emplacement framework will kick in for non-graduate classroom teachers by the end of this year.

SINGAPORE: Non-graduate teachers, who have demonstrated outstanding performance or have deep experience, can now be placed on the graduate salary scale.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat announced this at the Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS) award ceremony on Tuesday (Aug 26). Mr Heng said this will take place at a classroom teacher level, without requiring them to rise in leadership or to senior teaching positions.

"Under the current system, an experienced non-graduate classroom teacher who has honed his skills over years of teaching and made outstanding contributions in school, cannot cross over to the graduate salary scale without a degree. With the new performance-based emplacement framework, this will change," said Mr Heng.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) targets for the changes to take effect by the end of this year.

To give you a sense of the pay difference - MOE's website states that non-graduate teachers get a gross starting pay of between S$1,480 to S$1,920. Graduate teachers get almost double - from S$3,010 to S$3,310.

In line with the announcement by the Public Service Division today, the Education Ministry will study the possibility of merging the graduate and non-graduate schemes for teachers, such that graduate and non-graduate teachers can be remunerated and progressed along the same salary scale, based on their performance and potential to take on larger roles.

Mr Heng said the move to better reward non-graduate teachers is "not a one-off exercise". "We will keep supporting our teachers to learn and improve, and we will keep recognising deserving teachers," he said.

Mr Heng added that the ministry is also looking at improving ways for teachers to continue learning, through avenues such as on-the-job mentoring, professional network communities, specialised courses or part-time study at polytechnics, the National Institute of Education, or universities.