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CCE lesson on Gaza conflict to be customized for varied age groups, says Chan Chun Sing

Minister Chan Chun Sing announces better-scoped CCE lesson on Gaza conflict for various age groups. Despite request for slides release, Chan argues against it, saying they would be regardless be quoted out of context.



SINGAPORE: Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on Monday (4 March) announced that lessons on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, part of Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) classes, will be tailored to suit different age groups of students.

In response to a Member of Parliament’s request for the release of the CCE lesson slides, Mr Chan confirmed that MOE decided against it.

He emphasized the limitations of slides in representing the nuanced teaching context and stressed the importance of face-to-face interactions to provide a more comprehensive understanding to concerned parents and the public.

Minister Chan reiterates the importance of CCE in shaping national identity amid multicultural influences

Mr Chan, during the budget debate for MOE on Monday, reaffirmed the importance of CCE in shaping the national identity of Singaporean students, especially in a multicultural society facing various civilisational and religious influences.

Reflecting on the recent escalation of the conflict, Mr Chan acknowledged the potential impact of external events on Singaporeans, underscoring the need for effective management to prevent societal fractures.

He recognized feedback from both teachers and parents regarding the lesson materials and stressed the significance of addressing these concerns.

Addressing queries from MPs regarding the MOE’s CCE lesson on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Mr Chan emphasized the continuous commitment to enhance the delivery of CCE, especially in helping teachers equip students to navigate the complexities of the world.

Responding to online discussions and parental concerns about the lesson, he outlined plans to tailor the material for different age groups.

For younger students, the content will be simplified, focusing on sensitizing them to the plight of innocent victims, encouraging empathy, and teaching emotional management in the context of the conflict.

Older students will receive additional guidance on discerning information sources, while the most mature students will have updated materials reflecting recent events.

Mr Chan highlighted that the updated content would include Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan’s statement last Thursday (29 Feb), emphasizing Singapore’s principled position on the Israel-Palestine issue over the decades.

The aim is to help students better understand Singapore’s national interest in the context of the conflict.

Mr Chan highlighted Singapore’s active stance on the Israel-Palestine issue, including support for international resolutions favouring an immediate ceasefire, contributions to capacity-building for the Palestinian Authority, and ongoing efforts towards a two-state solution at the United Nations.

To enrich teachers’ preparation for the CCE lesson, MOE plans to conduct extra training workshops, allowing educators to review lesson plans with specialists and experienced teachers.

“Where appropriate, we will involve resource persons to assist with these workshops. This is in addition to the current suite of teachers’ preparation within schools.”

The ministry is also enhancing teacher training more broadly, utilizing the Singapore Centre for CCE established at the National Institute of Education in May 2023 to support professional development for CCE educators.

Mr Chan emphasized the inclusion of diverse views in lesson materials, as understanding how to manage differences and diversity is a key learning objective.

He acknowledged schools adopting effective approaches, such as having teams of teachers with different backgrounds and faiths conduct the lesson together.

This, he noted, serves as a powerful example to students, illustrating how diverse beliefs can coexist for respectful and sensitive discussions on complex topics like the Gaza conflict.

Insights gained from the CCE lesson episode

Mr Chan acknowledged that managing differences respectfully is an ongoing challenge, and the MOE has learned valuable lessons from the recent episode.

He illustrated how certain online commenters selectively chose one slide from MOE’s lesson deck, wrongly asserting that schools were informing students that the situation in Israel and Gaza began only on 7 October 2023.

“This insinuated that MOE was pro-Israel and that we characterised one side as aggressor and the other as victim.”

“This riles up many, but actually the words on the slide were events since 7 October and it came after the slide that emphasizes the long, complex, and often violent history of conflict in the region.”

“This is indeed a sobering reminder that in the online space, it is not always easy to separate those who question the material with well-meaning intention, from those who join the fray with ulterior intent to stir up negative emotions on an already sensitive topic,” he added.

Mr Chan expressed appreciation for the generally civil expressions of views by Singaporeans but cautioned against taking it for granted, citing instances of rude and abusive comments directed at teachers online.

He highlighted a particularly concerning case where an educator’s picture was circulated with a racial slur caption, intending to make it go viral online.

Mr Chan underscored the seriousness of such incidents, assuring that MOE will thoroughly investigate all instances of abuse, harassment, or threats against its educators.

Mr Chan justifies decision not to release lesson materials for CCE lesson

Following Mr Chan’s speech, Dr Wan Rizal, a PAP MP for Jalan Besar GRC inquired about the possibility of the MOE releasing lesson materials and slides for transparency, especially considering the circulation of unverified slides from the CCE lesson online.

Mr Chan responded that, after extensive discussions, the ministry decided against releasing the materials.

He explained that the slides alone might not accurately represent how the lesson is taught by teachers and could lead to misinterpretations if viewed without context.

Minister Chan emphasized the importance of meeting face-to-face with concerned parents and the public to explain how the slides are used, as this approach allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the teaching process.

Mr. Chan also emphasized the need to protect teachers from external pressures to alter the material according to different perspectives.

He encouraged concerned parents and interested parties to contact MOE, assuring them that the ministry would explain how the lesson is conducted in detail.

Addressing a specific query from Mr Sharael Taha, PAP MP Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC about the “Samuel and Arun slide,” Mr Chan clarified that this slide was not part of MOE’s original deck.

It was created by a teacher to make the lesson more relatable to a specific age group, though the age group was not specified.

Mr Chan highlighted that the slide had been taken out of context online, reiterating that MOE’s intention was never to trivialize the Gaza conflict.

He emphasized the importance of teachers’ ability to communicate effectively with their students based on their understanding of the students’ needs.

WP MP Faisal Manap questions MOE on consultation with parents for Israel-Palestinian CCE lesson

Faisal Manap, Workers’ Party MP for Ajunied GRC further asked whether the MOE had considered consulting parents of younger students regarding their comfort level with their children participating in the CCE lesson on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, similar to how consultations are conducted for sexuality education.

In response, Mr Chan clarified that while parental consultation is practised for sensitive topics like sexuality education, there is a distinction between the two.

“Sexuality education involves personal issues, family, and beliefs, whereas CCE lessons focus on interpersonal relations—teaching students to relate to others with respect, sensitivity, and manage differences in views constructively.”

He clarified that the CCE lesson does not directly address the conflict but rather focuses on teaching students how to manage differences in views and proceed as one.

Minister Chan highlighted that the central aspect of CCE is fostering emotional management, media literacy, respectful discussions, and building a cohesive society amid challenges.


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I wonder whether ah Chan can customised Hamas into different types or not? Or maybe he start off with customising his own Melayu kind which are the complainers of this issue. Like those who cannot make it and only to ITE at best, those who fxxk without condom producing many many offsprings cos it is the Will of their Allah and let their off springs become society problems or those who like what his own PAP said, re-offending again and again..and many other categories. First time and probably the ONLY time ,I will ever hear anyone saying ….YOU CAN CUSTOMISE… Read more »

Did u all notice CCS speaking ability has speaking in parliament? More fluent…mustve been sent for lessons.
But that lau ah beng vibe still hanging on🤭🙄🤣

This whole MOE-gaza cce lesson again shows the modus operandi of the current kayu million$ PM/ministers:

1) pay themselves highest salary yet planning and execution of project can be flawed.
2) when public give negative feedback, immediately go into “cannot lose face” mode.
3) say (the usual) “we have learnt from the experience”, customize this, customize that . . . but actually is to save face.
4) Ownself Praise Ownself, Ownself declare public is satisfied with their BS excuses. Case closed.
5) No accountability who fuxk-up. No Blaming culture.

So Sia Suay, hor.

If there is NOTHING to HIDE …. then the slides should be released to the public especially since there is now a controversy linked to them. If the public can’t be trusted to react “correctly” to its contents, then how can we expect that teachers tasked with using them in the CCE lessons will also react ie: teach “correctly” using those slides?

I cannot understand why this topic needs to be taught in schools when it is on going. The story of the Rohingyas in Myanmar and their brutal expulsion would have been more suitable as it has ended.

Please include chapters on Leadership failure … On both side that led to wars. And explain with parental analogies …

Ki Chu, Mynmar closer, some more Whack Temasek by $20B. Already, why no talk in class.
Gaza why??? Can give PAP Malay Vote is it???
Come On Come Clean. Or Xia Suay.