Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong asked the Acting Minister for Education (Schools) (a) how many ex-teachers have rejoined the education service last year; (b) how many of these teachers have resigned as employees of independent schools to rejoin the service; and (c) how are the teachers' experience and skills that are developed in the time after the teachers left service recognised when they rejoin the service.
The Minister of State for Education (Dr Janil Puthucheary) (for the Minister for Education (Schools): Mdm Speaker, there were 49 former teachers who rejoined the Education Service in 2015. Seven of these officers had joined the Ministry after resigning from independent schools. Beyond these numbers, there were also other former teachers appointed on an adjunct capacity and who may subsequently be re-appointed to the Education Service.
MOE recognises the work experience and skills developed by teachers who leave the Education Service and rejoin thereafter. In determining the remuneration package of these former teachers, we take into consideration their relevant work experience after leaving service, as well as parity with their peers who had remained in service.
Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong (Non-Constituency Member): I thank the Minister of State. Is there an existing policy to welcome the ex-teachers to rejoin the Education Service, rather than the ad hoc kind of re-application by the teachers? And would the Ministry formulate a clear framework to recognise the ex-teachers' experience and skills, developed in the time they have left the Service? Would the Ministry then publicise this framework so that ex-teachers with developed experience could be attracted back to teaching?
Dr Janil Puthucheary: Mdm Speaker, the re-appointment of Education Service Officers is primarily to replace attrition, which is fairly low, at about 3%. The current approach is effective at attracting teachers and maintaining capabilities. There are subject areas of greater need, specifically, Art, Music, Humanities, Physical Education and Tamil. I am not so sure whether I could address the Member's question in terms of a policy to welcome ex-teachers. I mean, the applications are certainly welcomed and the skills are certainly valued. The ability for these officers to apply for those jobs is certainly well known. But I welcome any suggestions you might have about how we might do that better.
In terms of a framework to recognise the skills of the officers, the work experience, the personal qualities, the content mastery, the track records of these officers when in service are all taken into account. So, there is a process by which their relevant skills and work experience are recognised and valued as they come back into the Education Service.