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Teacher's code of conduct must strike a balance: Heng

Published on Nov 18, 2012 2:36 PM
THE new teacher's code of conduct should ensure that teachers act responsibly while not being overly restrictive, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat on Sunday. --ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

THE new teacher’s code of conduct should strike a balance by ensuring that teachers act responsibly while not deterring people from entering the professions, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat on Sunday.

Asked about concerns that the code – which will be introduced next year – may be overly restrictive, he said a balance has to be struck. “Teachers are taking charge of young people and it’s important that this responsibility is discharged properly. And I think teachers who have a love for teaching and love for children should not worry about the code of conduct,” he said.

In any case, he pointed out, the code is not something new, as it combines regulations from instruction manuals for civil servants and the Education Ministry's conduct guidelines. Mr Heng, who was at a grassroots event in Tampines, said that the code will give teachers clearer guidelines on what is acceptable behaviour.

The Education Minister, who is also spearheading the National Conversation effort, also said that he was happy with the progress of the conversation. Certain key themes have been identified and would be announced by the committee by the early part of next year, he said, but added that the conversation will be kept open so that people can continue to suggest more ideas.