STU members engaged in a dialogue with NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Zainal Sapari on 21 September 2018. As a former teacher, school principal and eventually a cluster superintendent, Brother Zainal shared his experiences and areas on how members could benefit from their involvement with STU.
The dialogue covered a wide range of issues including re-employment of older teachers to challenges faced by teachers who were cross-deployed from secondary schools to primary schools. One area of discussion focused on the Compulsory Education Act and how teachers could better support children with special needs when these children join the schools next year. Brother Zainal shared the need for teachers and school leaders to have “crucial conversation”, a concept from the bestselling book with the same title. He mentioned that such “crucial conversations” are important in shaping school culture so as to enhance the work environment for teachers.
Following the dialogue session, Brother Zainal raised questions on the necessity of the ranking system for teachers at the parliament. The parliamentary response by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Low Yen Ling
can be found here: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/parliament/videos/november/low-yen-ling-on-ranking-teachers-as-part-of-performance-10949426