Teachers should counsel, befriend & mentor students as part of their jobscope, says Maliki
To ensure students have a holistic education journey, teachers should provide support beyond just teaching in classrooms, said Second Minister for Education Maliki Osman in Parliament on Wednesday (7 Feb). Other areas of support may include counselling, befriending, and mentoring students.
He outlined these responsibilities in response to a question by Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng on the subject of teachers’ workload.
Mr Maliki also urged Mr Ng to look at a teacher’s workload holistically. Ultimately, students need to pick up life skills and teachers should guide them through their education journeys, he said.
Maliki urges member to look at Teachers’ job scopes holistically beyond teaching students in classrooms
Last Wednesday (7 Feb), Mr Ng asked if the education ministry could allow teachers to “focus on teaching” rather than piling on their workload.
He pointed out that teachers today are asked to do counselling work due to a shortage of school counsellors and take on the role of wellness ambassadors to their colleagues.
In response, Dr Maliki urged Mr Ng to look at a teacher’s job holistically.
Beyond teaching in a classroom, he said teachers should also counsel, befriend, and mentor students. That’s because students have to be taught life skills.
Dr Maliki further explained that teachers should serve as their students’ guides through their education journeys so students understand that their teachers are “available at any point in time”.
Therefore, should a student approach a teacher with a personal problem, the latter should not say ‘Sorry, it is not my work because I only need to teach you’, Dr Maliki emphasised.
Teachers’ work hours remained stable over the past few years
Responding to Mr Ng’s earlier question on teachers’ workload, Dr Maliki said that teachers’ work hours have remained “stable” over the past few years.
The Ministry of Education also monitors teachers’ workloads through surveys and staff engagements and makes adjustments to policies and programmes where necessary, he added.
Dr Maliki also assured Mr Ng that MOE has been trimming teachers’ administrative work by “spreading them out” and setting out guidelines.
To help with workload, schools also use technology to reduce the administrative workload that teachers have to take on, he said.
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