14 recognised with Caring Teacher Awards

14 recognised with Caring Teacher Awards

Thursday, 31 March 2016

SINGAPORE: A total of 14 teachers have been recognised for exemplifying the values of care and share through their daily deeds and actions in school.

Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Associate Professor Faishal Ibrahim, presented them with the Caring Teacher Awards on Thursday (Mar 31). 

Four outstanding teachers received awards at the national level, while the remaining 10 received commendation awards.

One of the National Award recipients is Ms Noor Haida Mohd Jakaria - a Malay language teacher at Chongzheng Primary School. The 52-year-old, who has been a teacher for 25 years, said it is important to build rapport and trust with students and to help those in need.

She said: "As teachers, we cannot be judgemental but must be empathetic and understanding towards our students. Identifying their strengths and making them believe in themselves is crucial in fulfilling each student's aspirations."

For instance, when Ms Noor Haida found out her a student was missing from school for many days, she used her time to counsel the student and managed to provide a listening ear before encouraging the student to return to school.

She said: "That extra thing needs to come from us. When you build that rapport with the child, the child will trust you and you have overcome one of the most important challenges as a teacher. 

"When students trust you, they come to you with their problems, so you minimise whatever problems will surface later and you can groom them into responsible individuals who can contribute to society." 

Speaking at the award ceremony, Assoc Prof Faishal said education is a cornerstone of society, supporting the moral, emotional, mental and physical development of the young. In a world "bombarded by social media there are added pressures" on teachers to lead the way, he said.

He added that students require "sound guidance" not only in academic excellence, but also to become good citizens. 

"A caring teacher is a good educator. This does not simply mean they can produce excellent academic results, or coach a winning team, or direct a stage play; nor does it only mean they can identify and harness the latent abilities of all their students. Caring teachers are prepared to go beyond the call of duty; if necessary, sacrificing their own time and energy to be true to the mission to bring out the best in their students," Assoc Prof Faishal said.

The teachers received the awards after being shortlisted from more than 1,100 nominations - submitted this year - from more than 200 schools. 

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