SINGAPORE – Preschool teachers will be encouraged to teach their students behaviors that promote personal and collective security, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said on Friday (January 7th).
This includes teaching preschoolers – ages four to six – body safety awareness and seeking help from adults when they feel hurt or in danger.
The training of current and new educators will also be improved in this regard as part of the strengthening of support to preschools to instill body safety skills in young children by MSF and the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).
MSF said: “Through age-appropriate programs, young children will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to respect their body’s limits – theirs and those of others, differentiate between good and bad contacts. , and tell trusted adults if they are touched inappropriately or feel unsafe. . “
MSF’s child protection service investigated 261 cases of child sexual abuse in 2020, according to statistics released by the ministry. Figures for last year have not been released.
On Friday morning, Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Education Sun Xueling visited PCF Sparkletots @ Sengkang Central Block 208 and observed a body safety lesson given with a Kindergarten 2 class.
Through age-appropriate videos, songs and discussions, children learned about their bodies, what constitutes good and bad contact and how to protect themselves.
Ms. Sun said, “Knowledge of body safety is essential to preventing sexual abuse and domestic violence. It is important to teach our children about body safety from an early age so that they can protect themselves when d others touch them inappropriately.
“Children are also taught to express themselves and to report to trusted adults when they are not feeling safe. “
As part of the Department of Education’s ongoing review of the Early Childhood Education Framework, which sets out the learning outcomes of preschool education, preschool teachers will be encouraged to teach children behaviors safe.
The revised framework will be launched at the end of this year, with training planned for preschools on key improvements.
The new educators who join the early childhood sector will also soon be better equipped to teach children to protect themselves following the training improvements.
While the prerequisite certificate and diploma programs offered by private training agencies already incorporate concepts of child abuse and neglect, ECDA works closely with the agencies to improve the content.
Likewise, the programs of the National Institute for Early Childhood Development have been enhanced after its collaboration with the Singapore Children’s Society (SCS).
Current educators will be encouraged to take a course titled ‘Empowering Children with Body Safety Skills’ offered by SCS which will help them better understand child sexual abuse issues and use appropriate strategies to deal with them. disclosures of such incidents.