New online portal for teachers, non-teaching staff to get emotional support

The move is part of efforts to support educators further and develop a culture of care, said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - Teachers, as well as non-teaching staff, can now access a new online portal to help them with tips and strategies to safeguard their mental health and address work concerns on burnout and managing workload.

Called "mindline at work for MOE", it was set up by the Ministry of Education (MOE), together with the Ministry of Health Office for Healthcare Transformation.

This is part of efforts to support educators further and develop a culture of care where everyone looks out for one another in schools, said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing during the launch of a new heritage centre at MOE Headquarters in Balestier on Tuesday (Aug 30).

During the opening ceremony, Mr Chan paid tribute to teachers, noting that society values the contributions of educators, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"In Singapore, we have been largely fortunate to be able to not have to suffer the worst negative impact of a pandemic," he added.

"That's because we have a group of teachers who are dedicated and committed... not just to fulfil their current vision to educate the students, but also even in the depths of the crisis, constantly trying to innovate."

Mr Chan added that MOE would continue to support teachers so they can achieve the best possible outcomes for students.

Educators can share their emotions and concerns anonymously and safely through a chatbot on the website. Based on their responses, they will then be directed to the appropriate self-management and self-care exercises.

A teacher who declined to be named said it was nice that mental health is being recognised, with the launch of the portal.

But she wondered if teachers would have the time to use it. She also noted that the portal provides access to "just resources, and not someone we can really chat with and have some work-related problems solved".

Some of the resources available on "mindline at work for MOE" were developed by educators for educators, which will resonate well with MOE staff, said MOE in its press release.

MOE said it complements current efforts such as health screenings and wellness talks to support staff well-being.

Separately, to celebrate Teachers' Day this year, a new exhibition showcases inspiring stories of the experiences of teachers and students during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Education Minister Chan Chun Sing visiting the new heritage centre at MOE Headquarters on Aug 30, 2022. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

The year-long exhibition is a feature of the new heritage centre in Balestier. Visitors can explore the innovative approaches teachers and students used for lessons to adapt to Covid-19 measures.

For instance, the Institute of Technical Education College East invented a face shield for teachers that enables students to hear them better during lessons. The shield uses a mellophone, a device used for communication in environments such as laboratories and clean rooms.

The new centre will also have a gallery showcasing the timeline of Singapore's education evolution from the 19th century to the present day.

In a 45-minute dramatised tour, some actors will portray students in different eras, such as the 1940s, giving visitors a glimpse into how classes were conducted.

Education Minister Chan Chun Sing with performers from Yew Tee Primary School during the launch of the MOE Heritage Centre on Aug 30, 2022. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Ms Liao Ziyan, curator of the MOE Heritage Centre, said she hopes the showcase will help visitors of all ages relive memories of their school days.

The Heritage Centre, which had been located at Commonwealth Drive since 2011, was moved to Balestier this year.

Those interested can visit between 10am and 5pm, from Tuesday to Friday, during term time.

During school holidays, the exhibition is open between 10am and 5pm, from Monday to Friday.

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