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MOE to work closely with schools to address issue of sexual predators

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat says MOE will work closely with schools to address the recent spate of teachers preying on students sexually. 

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Education will work closely with schools to address the recent spate of teachers preying on students sexually. This assurance came from Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, after Member of Parliament for Mountbatten Lim Biow Chuan raised the issue of how to better protect students from sexual predators.

Mr Lim had asked the minister in Parliament on Monday (July 7) if there were plans to introduce initiatives in schools such as a buddy system to watch over errant teachers, and greater engagement of parents.

"As I understand it, there is no formal engagement of parents such that they too, are alerted to signals that their children are emotionally involved,” said Mr Lim.

“The other thing that I was wondering whether MOE would consider is: would MOE implement a buddy system where a group of teachers can look out for each other when they feel that one of them has succumbed to temptation from too-close contact with their students."

In response, Mr Heng assured Mr Lim: "We do want to engage our parents in helping them to detect signs of problems faced by their teenagers, particularly teenagers. And we will work together with COMPASS and the parent support group(s) in this effort."

“On your second suggestion, of a buddy system, every beginning teacher has a mentor, and school leaders at various levels are expected to guide the teachers under their charge. But we will study if a more formalised buddy system can be put in place," Mr Heng replied.

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