Forum: A whole-of-society approach is needed to create greater disability awareness

We thank Mr. Shalom Lim Ern Rong for his suggestion to integrate disability awareness education into the school curriculum (Include Disability Awareness and Inclusion Workshops in the School Curriculum, February 4).

Our schools’ Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) curriculum is designed to ground our students in a solid foundation of sound values ​​and good character by developing their moral and civic values ​​and social-emotional skills.

In primary schools, students learn to have empathy for others and learn to respect and relate to those with different abilities, whether they are in their own classroom or in the wider community.

In secondary schools, students get to know people with disabilities or with special educational needs who have overcome their personal challenges and that everyone can contribute to society.

Additionally, through school experiences such as extracurricular activities, Values ​​in Action projects, and inter-school activities, we provide opportunities for students to have meaningful interactions with their peers, including those with special educational needs, and reinforce important lessons. they learn by CCE.

Some schools also provide opportunities for students and staff to interact meaningfully and regularly with people with different abilities to help them develop empathy and understanding. This is done through satellite partnerships and collaborations with specialist schools.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) will continue to regularly review the CCE curriculum so that our students gain an understanding of a wide range of topics in the social environment. However, building an inclusive society requires a holistic approach to society beyond the classroom.

To this end, the MOE has partnered with the Community Chest and the Singapore Kindness Movement to co-develop student publications that incorporate stories about disability awareness. Beyond the MOE, there are several public education initiatives to create greater awareness of disability and special needs.

One such effort is the National Board of Social Services’ See The True Me campaign. Since 2016, the campaign has promoted the inclusion of people with disabilities in Singapore.

SG Enable, the focal agency for the disability sector in Singapore, has also partnered with the Housing Board and public transport operators to feature artwork by Singaporeans with disabilities.

We encourage all Singaporean adults to set an example for their children through their words and behavior, and to work together for a more caring and inclusive society.

Tan Chen Kee

Division Director, Student Development Program Division

Ministry of Education

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