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'Targeted intervention' for Primary 1 students with social, behavioural needs in all schools by 2026

'Targeted intervention' for Primary 1 students with social, behavioural needs in all schools by 2026

TRANSIT teacher Jessie Wong and an allied educator in a TRANSIT class at Elias Park Primary School. (Photo: Ang Hwee Min)

SINGAPORE: Primary 1 students with social and behavioural needs will get "targeted intervention" in all schools by 2026, announced Minister of State for Education Sun Xueling on Wednesday (Mar 3).

Under the Transition Support for Integration or TRANSIT, students will get learning and behavourial support from allied educators and teachers in small groups and within their form classes. The programme aims to ease the children’s transition into primary school by helping them develop self-management skills.

Students will learn about good classroom work habits and managing their emotions, and develop their social and communication skills. Students learn these skills through a structured approach involving role-play, independent practice and coaching by trained staff.

“By the end of P1, students should be able to learn independently in class, with occasional help,” said Ms Sun, speaking in Parliament during the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) Committee of Supply debate.

By end-2021, the Education Ministry would have piloted TRANSIT in about 40 schools, or one in five primary schools, she added.

Describing the pilot outcomes as “promising”, Ms Sun said the programme will benefit about five to 10 Primary 1 students in each school per year.

Grace Orchard School, which caters to students with mild intellectual disability and mild autism spectrum disorders, will be expanded. The school will take in 600 students between seven and 18 years old, up from 450 students now, said Ms Sun.

“This is to help meet the demand for places in the west region and enhance the accessibility of SPED (special education) schools serving students with mild intellectual disability,” said Ms Sun.

MOE will work in conjunction with social service agency staff to “improve students’ educational experiences”, she said. 

Students can look forward to new vocational training facilities, larger classrooms and modulation spaces for students who also have autism spectrum disorders, as well as facilities for physical education classes and sports, Ms Sun said.

READ: Chaoyang School and Tanglin School for students with special education needs to move to expanded campus

EFFORTS FOR DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS

A pilot programme by the Uplifting Pupils in Life and Inspiring Families Taskforce, or UPLIFT, that supports disadvantaged students to help them attend school more regularly will also be expanded.

The UPLIFT Community Pilot started in January last year at Woodlands, Kreta Ayer and Boon Lay. It has supported about 100 students, a number which will double by the end of this year and increased to more than 300 by 2022, said MOE in a separate press release. 

The community pilot will be extended to Bukit Merah, said Second Minister for Education Maliki Osman.

The programme has “yielded positive outcomes”, with about 80 per cent of the students placed in the pilot in early-2020 attending school more regularly, he added. 

Since February this year, the programme’s coverage was expanded to include more students, such as those living in rental flats, said Dr Maliki. 

The team is working to support students from about 70 schools living in the pilot sites by the end of this year, he added. 

Source: CNA/hw(cy)

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