Saturday, 18 May 2013

Character Education in Singapore... Stay Tuned!

Hello readers, this is an introductory post for my upcoming series on Character Education

A little background information: Minister Heng introduced the Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) focus for MOE during his first workplan seminar in September 2011. In a renewed effort to emphasize moral-driven learning in schools, the newly established MOE CCE Branch released a 195-page toolkit for teachers, providing insights on how to incorporate the teaching of values into school curriculum. This was followed by the inaugural CCE Conference held in NIE in November the same year and also the subsequent introduction of a new Edusave Character Award (ECHA) to 'recognise students for demonstrating exemplary character and outstanding personal qualities through their behaviour and actions.' Fast forward 1.5 years,  Minister Heng recently reported that "CCE has been progressing well and will remain a key emphasis going forward."

Remember CME and 好公民?

Sounds good, right?

Truth be told, this 'new' MOE emphasis on values education is nothing revolutionary. Those of us born in the 1980s will remember Civics and Moral Education ' aka CME lessons during Primary and Secondary School. Values Education has been a compulsory segment of formal school curriculum for as long as I can remember. Call me skeptical, but it seems to me that CCE is largely a rebranding exercise - since CME and NE (National Education) have become unpalatable in schools, let's combine them and give it a new name. Giving recognition for good conduct is nothing new either - schools and military organizations have been doing so for a long time. Furthermore, in order to be eligible for most scholarships, awards and bursaries, excellent conduct and good moral values are supposed prerequisites.

"...and the Best Conduct Award goes to ...."

Anyway before you misunderstand, in the subsequent blog series I'm not going to compare and contrast CCE with CME/NE to prove that they are essentially the same. That would be pretty pointless - a means to an end. Rather, I am going to focus the series on some fundamental values that have always been emphasized in education, mention how these values are being actually being 'taught' in schools, evaluate the effectiveness of CCE in schools, and hopefully provide some practical insights and suggestions to parents and fellow educators on what can be done at the ground level to genuinely inculcate values into our Singaporean youths.

Stay Tuned!

Update: The post has been completed!

- A

1 comment:

  1. Hello! As a student who goes through such CCE lessons, I find that how they are being taught is completely useless and disgusting. It's force-fitting "values" into worksheets and a *bleak* hope that our FUTURE GENERATION will be good leaders of the future. Even my teacher thinks that CCE is completely useless and said so herself. Values are meant to be learnt through lessons and education in school. That's what school WAS meant for, isn't it? Well, given Singapore's education system now, everyone only focuses on grades and not going beneath the report cards. It's the sad truth, isn't it?