Forum: Schools pay close attention to load of junior college students

We thank Mr Casey Lok (Make sure JC students are not overstretched, April 28) and Dr Thomas Lee Hock Seng (Don't confuse burnout with students' inability to cope, May 3) for their views on the demands of school activities on junior college (JC) students.

Our schools pay keen attention to the overall load of JC students and monitor their well-being to ensure they are not overly stretched. The Ministry of Education (MOE) also regularly reviews curriculum and assessment demands to ensure that they remain manageable for students.

These efforts are balanced against the crucial need to give our students a holistic curriculum that can equip them with the knowledge, skills and values to thrive in a diverse and rapidly changing world.

As Dr Lee observed, JC students do have the choice to determine their participation in academic and co-curricular programmes to nurture their interests and enrich their learning experiences.

As our older adolescents pursue their passions and develop their skills in this stage of life, they will still require both the guidance of their teachers and strong support from parents.

In school, initiatives like mental health education, peer support systems and counselling services form a strong bulwark against the stressors that can lead to burnout.

At home, parents can encourage the joy of learning and engender broader definitions of success as we embark on these efforts as a society.

More importantly, parents can work with schools to keep a watchful eye on their child's commitments and well-being.

MOE will continue to work with our stakeholders to support the holistic development and overall well-being of our students.

Loh Wee Cheng

Divisional Director

Student Development Curriculum 1

Ministry of Education

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