Encouraged to keep up work at schools

As a pioneer educator who served the Ministry of Education (MOE) for more than 40 years and who is still serving as a part-time school counsellor, I applaud Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's comment at the PAP's convention at the Singapore Expo last month on how those above 65 "should have a chance to continue working, and we should encourage them" ("Party activists throw up ideas to shape policies"; Dec 7, 2015).

One suggestion from the panel on lifelong learning was to encourage learning across generations, with senior citizens taking an active part in mentoring younger people.

I am part of a group of senior educators, many of whom are pioneer educators and are still working in schools as part-time counsellors.

We are grateful that the former director-general of education, Ms Ho Peng, started this scheme for retired senior educators to help counsel students in schools.

Though we are no longer MOE employees and are regarded as service providers, we take great pride that we are connecting well with the students and that the schools we work with have been giving us very positive feedback.

Our passions have always been centred on the education fraternity and doing more than the best for students. Integrity and conforming to ethical norms are simply part and parcel of our belief.

All of us are trained as school counsellors and, though many do not possess a master's degree in the field, our experiences and skills are relevant, and we seek every opportunity to upgrade ourselves.

It would be a sad day if organisations, companies and ministries were to forget that the elderly can still be active and contribute to the good of society.

On behalf of this group of pioneer educators and part-time school counsellors, I thank PM Lee and the panel for the encouragement given time and again.

Peck Soo Hong (Ms)