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Teachers must work within clear boundaries: Heng Swee Keat

Teachers must work within clear boundaries in their work and in their relationships with colleagues and students. Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said this during an investiture ceremony at NIE on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE: Teachers must work within clear boundaries in their work and in their relationships with colleagues and students.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said this during an investiture ceremony at the National Institute of Education (NIE) on Wednesday morning.

A total of 1,446 NIE graduates will be joining the teaching profession after receiving their certificates.

On Monday, Mr Heng had said in Parliament that the Education Ministry will work with schools to address the recent spate of teachers preying on students sexually.

In the ceremony on Wednesday, he said that boundaries pertaining to duties and professional relationships are clear.

But he also spoke about boundaries that are less clear, for example, on the extra hours teachers should spend to help their students.

Mr Heng said: "I know of teachers who cannot sleep at night out of worry for some of their students, and teachers who will spend extra hours outside of work giving additional help to students.

"Just as you cannot stop a child who wants to learn, you cannot stop a teacher who wants to teach. But you must also learn to make enough time for yourself, for your personal health and growth, so that you can be a better teacher to your students."

Twenty-eight graduates are also receiving awards for their achievements.

They include Jasper Sim Hong, one of the recipients of the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal for best performance in general proficiency in his programme of study. He attained First Class Honours in the Bachelor of Arts (Education).

The contributions of young teachers were also recognised.

Gidwani Poojalal from Haig Girls' School is one of the five recipients of the Outstanding Youth in Education Award.

She helped to develop programmes that allow students to serve the community, through collaborations with organisations.

She said: "Our main aim is actually to develop citizenship and character in our students. Through that, we want to create a greater awareness of the non-profit organisations and the community organisations that are present in Singapore, and also to allow them to know that they have to give back and they should give back to the community." 

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