Physical education (PE) is more than just helping students keep fit. It embodies good values and important life skills such as hard work, perseverance, integrity and teamwork, said First Toa Payoh Primary School PE teacher Joel Prathiev Vinson.
Among a growing pool of PE, art and music teachers, he said: "I believe the outcome of education is not about grades, but the process each student goes through that guides him to make the right decisions as he grows up."
The number of PE, art and music teachers has jumped nearly 20 per cent in the past five years, as Singapore's education system moves towards becoming more holistic.
There are some 3,700 trained PE, art and music teachers now, up from about 3,100 teachers in 2012, making up more than a tenth of the current teaching force.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) said recruiting such teachers is ongoing, even as the overall teaching force remains stable. It has been steadily growing this pool "who have the personal qualities, aptitude and passion for teaching these subjects".
"Our PE, art and music curriculum plays a critical role in the holistic development of our students, as they cultivate the physical and aesthetics aspects of our students.”
Observers and experienced educators said that hiring more PE, art and music teachers is encouraging. It reflects the overhaul of an education system – from a strong focus on marks to holistic development.
It will also go towards nurturing students' talents and interests in non-academic pursuits.
Source: “Growing pool of PE, art and music teachers” (The Straits Times, 20 Mar 2017)