Ministry of Education teachers will still get Internet on work computers

Teachers will still have Internet access on their work computers despite plans to cut off Internet access on official computers used by public servants next year.
Teachers will still have Internet access on their work computers despite plans to cut off Internet access on official computers used by public servants next year.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - It appears that teachers will still have Internet access on their work computers despite plans to delink Internet access on the official computers of public servants in Singapore next year.

This is according to the latest memo seen by The Straits Times. It was sent out late Wednesday (June 8) to all teachers under the Ministry of Education after news broke that all 100,000 official computers in use by the public service will be delinked from the Internet from May next year. The note clarified that teachers currently work on a separate network that will not be connected to the Government Enterprise Network.

"As cyber security threats continue to evolve, it is important for the Government Networks to remain secure to prevent deliberate cyber attacks resulting in undesirable leakage of sensitive government data," according to the memo.

 

The notice also acknowledged that schools are more dependent on the use of Internet for teaching and learning. As such, they will "continue to have access to teaching and learning resources on the Internet from their computers".

The Straits Times reported on Wednesday that all 100,000 official computers in use by the public service will no longer have direct access to the Internet from May next year.

Web surfing is allowed but only on employees' personal mobile devices. Non-sensitive e-mail can also be forwarded to personal accounts. Dedicated Internet terminals will be issued to those who need them for work.

The news evoked a range of reactions on the trade-off between security and efficiency.

Some said it was a bold response to the threat of online intrusions. Others said it should have been more finely calibrated.

Many of those affected directly said it will make life difficult for them.