There’s helping students achieve excellent grades. There’s also imparting excellent qualities of character to students. Both are important. Here, the Government recognises inspirational teachers who achieve both with the annual President’s Award for Teachers (PAT).
Established in 1998, the PAT recognises outstanding educators for their dedication and is the top honour for teachers. President Halimah Yacob presented eight of these exemplary educators with it this on Sep 1 during a ceremony at the Istana with Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing in attendance.
“The recipients of this year’s President’s Award for Teachers exemplify the qualities of what we mean when we say teaching is a calling, and the huge impact teachers can have in the lives of their students,” she said in her speech.
President Halimah also took to Facebook to further congratulate the teachers.
“Apart from working tirelessly to keep schools safe for the past two years, so that our students could continue learning, they also invest time and effort preparing teaching materials to ensure that the students are engaged and interested throughout the lessons,” she wrote.
“They exemplify the impact that teachers can have in the lives of their students,” she added.
Education Minister Chan Chun Sing also paid tribute to the winners on Facebook.
“With their character traits and outstanding attributes, they are role models for our teaching fraternity at large, and our Ministry of Education, Singapore family is stronger for it,” wrote Minister Chan on Facebook after the ceremony.
“My heartiest congratulations to all the PAT award winners, as well as the over 4000 nominees,” added Minister Chan.
“You are an inspiration to us all.”
Educating for inclusivity
The PAT recipients, overall, innovate and inspire while moulding Singapore’s future. This year, social inclusivity was at the forefront.
Mdm Dawn Chan, for example, added inclusive teaching methods to her music lessons for her neurodiverse Dazhong Primary School pupils. Ms Pauline Hu helps her ITE students invent gadgets like the auto-alert Sensistove for elderly users. And Mdm Tay Hui Cheng came up with custom-made tech materials for helping her students from St. Anthony’s Canossian Secondary learn Mandarin despite the pandemic’s learning disruptions.
They, as will the other PAT awardees, now have the opportunity for participation in an overseas learning programme which furthers their professional development.
Support for teachers
Just last month, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that 35,000 teachers will receive a pay hike of between 5 per cent and 10 per cent from Oct 1. Some 1,600 allied educators and 800 pre-school teachers in MOE kindergartens will also receive pay bumps.
Besides monetary incentives, the Government also recognised teachers continue to need more help, even emotionally.
That is why Minister Chan announced a new online portal on Aug 30 called “mindline at work for MOE” to equip teachers with tips and strategies to safeguard their mental health and prevent potential burn outs.
Teachers can share their emotions and concerns anonymously and the portal will direct them to the appropriate self-management and self-care exercises.
Minister Chan reminded us the critical role teachers play, saying: “But if we say that education is core to Singapore’s social mobility, core to Singapore’s cohesion, then we must also in the same breath say that our teachers are core to our mission. And for our teachers to deliver on their mission, we need to take care of the well-being of our teachers.”
Thank you to all our inspiring teachers. Happy Teachers’ Day!
Cover photo credit: President Halimah Facebook