More avenues for progression and training for teachers in special education schools
SINGAPORE – Teachers in special education (Sped) schools will have more room to progress in their careers through two new tracks in teaching and leadership.
New hires will also go through a contract teaching stint and a longer diploma programme at the National Institute of Education (NIE).
These were some of the plans laid out on Wednesday (Sept 2) by Minister of State for Education Sun Xueling, along with new career and training guidelines, to raise the standards of the Sped teaching profession and make it more attractive.
In a November 2018 review of human resource practices in the Sped teaching sector, the Ministry of Education (MOE) found that existing career frameworks vary across the 19 government-funded Sped schools run by 12 social service agencies.
More than 70 per cent of Sped teachers, and social service agencies, which run the schools, were consulted for their views.
These schools provide customised support for 6,600 students with moderate to severe special needs, such as autism and multiple disabilities.
Since then, there has been a steady rise in the numbers of students with autism spectrum disorder, she added. To cater to increasing enrolment, the MOE intends to set up seven more Sped schools in the next seven years.
The MOE’s study also found that Sped teachers wanted more clearly defined job roles and responsibilities. There are currently about 1,550 teachers across the Sped schools.
“In the years to come, we envisage the Sped profession to be a more attractive career with diverse job opportunities for teachers,” said the MOE on Wednesday.
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