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Minister Chan Chun Sing’s revised approach to Israel-Palestine conflict education raises netizens’ concerns

Singapore Education Minister Chan Chun Sing’s updated approach to Israel-Palestine conflict education has sparked concerns among netizens. Some find it sensitive for schools. Others stress historical context necessity to prevent biased teaching.



SINGAPORE: Education Minister Chan Chun Sing announced on Monday (4 Mar) 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.

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

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

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

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.

Singapore Education Minister revamps teaching on Israel-Palestine conflict with inclusive approach

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 emphasized Singapore’s active stance on the Israel-Palestine issue, including support for international resolutions favoring 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.

Netizens express concerns over introduction of Israel-Palestine conflict in school curriculum

In response to Education Minister Chan Chun Sing’s explanation of the Israel-Palestine conflict in Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) lessons, netizens have shared their comments and concerns.

Some netizens find the topic very sensitive and question why such issues, including wars, should be introduced in schools.

They express concern that conflicting messages from schools and parents may lead to confusion for the children.


Others suggest that time should not be wasted on the issue and that it should be left to parents to handle.

They argue that children today have access to a wealth of information on the internet.


One netizen points out that students may lack the maturity to comprehend such sensitive matters.

They propose a return to basic lessons on empathy and manners.


Netizens stress the necessity of historical context in teaching Israel-Palestine conflict in schools

Another netizen suggests that, before delving into CCE, students should have foundational knowledge about the history of Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East.

Without this background, it might seem like the government is imposing specific viewpoints on the conflict.


Another comment highlights the importance of ensuring that the government’s stance is not a biased or whitewashed version of the Palestinian conflict.

The netizen emphasizes the need to address historical aspects, such as the Haavara agreement and the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians, to provide a comprehensive understanding.


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Why does he insist on continuing with this subject in schools? It is ongoing so why not wait until the International community reaches a consensus and ends the war. He is subjecting teachers, parents and students to a possible conflict. This is just going to stress everyone as he is refusing to make public the teaching aids, the slides, the content etc. He is focused on the end result and therefore fails.

Aiyoh, Ownself cannot maintain relationship with own siblings, yet so arrogant to think Ownself can educate school children on a super-complex relationship issue like the Middle East situation. Maybe because even own siblings can tell the Arrogant One to Fxxk Off, but children won’t, hor.