Participants at the STU Members’ Forum with Ministry of Education (MOE) Human Resource (HR) on Performance Management took the opportunity to clarify common myths on the performance appraisal process, and to contribute suggestions to enhance current processes.
More than 80 members took part in a forum on performance management, jointly organised by STU and MOE HR on 18 January 2019 at NTUC Centre. The two-hour forum was held with the goal to discuss the objectives, principles, challenges and suggestions to enhance the performance appraisal system to benefit the teaching fraternity.
The forum began with a short presentation by MOE HR on the objectives and principles of the performance management system, appraisal cycles and appeal processes. One key message that MOE HR highlighted was that the system was meant to be developmental for teachers to grow professionally. Participants also seized the opportunity to engage Director, HR Partnership Centre Mr Chan Chee Wing to clarify common myths such as the implication of adverse performance grades and the transparency of comments by reporting officers and countersigning officers on the appraisal forms. Participants gave feedback that while the appraisal system was designed with good intent and rigour, communication to and implementation at school level needed to be enhanced. One participant also shared that to achieve a positive teacher-student relationship, there needs to be a positive school leader-teacher relationship first. Participants concurred that the collegiality of teachers and a harmonious working environment in schools were correlated to Teacher wellness which might impact student outcomes.
Some of the questions raised include:
- After getting a promotion, is the education officer automatically given a C grade for the upcoming year?
- What is the difference between closed and open appraisal?
- What is the rationale of having a quota for certain grades?
- Can an education officer choose not to be ranked if he/she was sick or on leave for a few months?
In the opening address, STU General Secretary Mike Thiruman shared that Teachers, as professionals, must know how performance appraisal works, and should not shy away from engaging school management when there were doubts. He added that STU stood ready to support members when they encounter hurdles. While STU held differing views on the ranking of Teachers vis-a-vis MOE, both STU and MOE HR emphasised the importance of Tripartism and working together to resolve differences.