How can more people be persuaded to become special needs teachers, and how can the high turnover rate be reduced?
Give them a good salary and more time for break and leave in between to recharge as it can be a very draining job. Comprehensive training and regular psychological/ counselling support to see to the teacher's well-being, too.
It's a really tough job. And the level of responsibility is much higher than that of a regular teacher. For a start, increase their pay. Provide regular upgrading/training on new methodology and strategies. Organise "therapy" sessions for them to release as well.
Increase their starting pay, reduce unnecessary paperwork and be generous and invest more on the appropriate help, like teacher assistance and therapists. The support of allied health professionals such as therapists is important. Therapists are human too and should not be overworked. Do not rely too much on volunteers.
The point of no return is when a child progresses beyond one's imagination of his capability.
If you can show someone or teach them how to achieve that with children, special needs or not, you've got the teacher's heart.
It's the initial difficulties (because things will not happen normally as expected), that cause failure. It takes grit to stay with it until success.
What can workplaces do to promote healthy eating habits among employees?
The canteens in companies should offer healthier food and dishes but in the end it is the individual who has a choice whether to eat healthier or not.
You are responsible for taking care of your own health and eating what is right.
Like exercising, eating healthy is a choice, not an obligation.
There should be more healthier dining options near the workplace, not only at hawker centres but also at restaurants. I used to work in the public sector, and there weren't many healthy options around. Some stalls are well-known, but aren't really that healthy.
Wei Jien Teng
Healthy eating habits start in our own kitchens.
Should schools encourage more students to start their own CCAs?
This may be a good chance for entrepreneurs to develop. Unfortunately, students may be too young to understand the risks involved in certain activities. The last thing we want is for someone to get hurt or, worse, die during CCA.
Matthew Chua Boon Hou
Schools should be allowed to endorse student-led activities if they meet the criteria. Schools should not have to obtain approval from the ministries if certain basic guidelines are met.
When students lead their own activities based on their own interests, perhaps with a teacher as a mentor, it builds confidence and also teaches them to bear responsibilities as well as learn what is involved in order to make things work.
Failing will teach them to reflect on what went wrong and come up with solutions. This will teach them to be better planners as well and could help produce leaders.
This would also enforce what the Government is trying so hard to encourage - creativity, ownership and community spirit.