Ministry of Education to ensure better alignment of gender and sexuality education in schools and institutions: Sun Xueling, Parenting & Education News & Top Stories

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SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Education (MOE) will take more care to ensure better alignment of gender-related content taught by schools and institutes of higher education (IHL).

Minister of State for Education and Social and Family Development Sun Xueling said Monday, December 21, that the ministry will also work with schools to share resources on gender education and issues like respect.

Different IHL have their own curriculum on teaching respect and boundaries for students and staff, she said.

“What the Ministry of Education hopes to do is work closely with IHL to ensure greater standardization of the modules that are used, and also to share resources … and to review cases that arise. are presented and also to standardize the protocols and our responses to the problems that arise, ”she added.

Ms. Sun was addressing the media after a virtual engagement session hosted by the Department of Education and the National Youth Council (NYC).

The session, which was also attended by New York City Director General David Chua, involved around 100 IHL students and focused on the issues women face in schools.

This is the first such conversation with students of higher education institutions, as part of a national review of the issues affecting women in the home, schools, workplaces and community. community which was announced earlier in September.

The ideas and suggestions gathered during these dialogues, which began in October, will form the basis of a White Paper to be tabled in Parliament in the first half of next year.

In her remarks after Monday’s session, Ms. Sun, who is co-leading the review with the Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth and Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Health Rahayu Mahzam said, “What really stuck in my mind was that our students expressed a deep desire to have a culture of gender respect.”

Ms. Sun noted that as part of the updated Personality and Citizenship Education (CCE) program that will begin next year, there will be more emphasis on moral values, cyber wellness and respecting the limits of oneself and others, online and offline.

Other topics discussed on Monday included the need to provide a safe environment for young people, in the context of recent cases of sexual misconduct at universities.

This includes equipping “students with age-appropriate knowledge, so that they know how to protect themselves against online sexual harassment, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and also how to recognize inappropriate behavior and understand the legal consequences and the socio-emotional impact. that such offenses can have, ”Ms. Sun said.

She said the updated CCE program will address the main challenges young people face today, for example with the widespread use of social media.

“There are now a variety of influences and challenges that stem from social media, which stem from popular culture. The Ministry of Education is aware of this, ”she said.

“What’s important is that we have age-appropriate content, and we also use storylines to help our young people better understand what they can do when faced with difficult situations.”

Online sexual grooming, abuse of teacher-student relationships and voyeurism are some of the ministry’s concerns, she said.

“In our program, there are actually specific scenarios that are painted for each of these potential situations, and what students can do about their feelings about it, and who they can consult with.”

One example is a teacher who behaves inappropriately with a child, and in such a lesson, the teachers in the class would share what the students should do so that they know how to react in such situations, Ms. Sun said.

In addition to sexuality and gender education in schools, students also shared concerns on Monday about gender stereotypes and how these might affect perceptions of professional skills and the types of careers in which young people throw themselves.

Some participants pointed out that some higher level courses like nursing and social work tend to have more women, for example.

Ms. Sun said that through education and career counseling in schools, the Ministry of Education will ensure that students are able to explore a variety of avenues and at the same time fight against gender prejudices that can limit their aspirations.

“Schools have a role to play in ensuring that (…) students should examine their innate qualities, what their strengths are and not be hampered by mental models of what they think,” he said. she declared.

Schools will also contribute to greater awareness of gender equality in the context of the home, she added.

“The Department of Education will address equity in family roles by contributing to the family in the updated CCE 2021 curriculum and students will learn to appreciate equity in parenting, regardless of gender and the importance of not attribute gender stereotypes in parenting, ”she said.

“Ultimately, we want to nurture positive mindsets and attitudes towards equity of roles in the family, from an early age.”


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