In response to Mr Dave Phua Peng Hwee's letter (Does MOE have whistle-blowing policy for sexual misconduct?, July 3), we would like to clarify that the Ministry of Education already has processes in place for staff and students to report wrongful practices or behaviour.
Our staff know that it is important to report cases of wrongful practice or misconduct.
For example, they can report such cases to their supervisors, or directly to the permanent secretary of MOE and to the divisional director of human resource via e-mail.
All staff, including teachers, are constantly reminded of these avenues via internal channels. Parents are also encouraged to surface issues and feedback directly to teachers, principals or MOE officials.
On receiving feedback, we will conduct a thorough and independent investigation. Disciplinary action will be taken if there is any wrongdoing and a police report made if any criminal offence is revealed.Indeed, it is through such feedback processes that we are able to maintain the integrity of our system.
As for students, we have consistently advised them to seek help from trusted adults, such as their parents, teachers and school counsellors, if they fall victim to such misconduct or even if they just suspect that they could be exposed to harm.
Our teachers are also trained to look out for signs of distress in students, and refer them to school counsellors or other professional support when necessary.
We would like to reiterate that MOE expects all our staff to conduct themselves in a manner that upholds the integrity of the teaching profession - at all times.
Any cases of misconduct will be dealt with firmly, seriously and fairly.
We will never hesitate to take strong disciplinary action against those who fall short of the standards expected, including dismissal from service.
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