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MOE in Singapore calls parents to teach children empathy for peers with disabilities

Cute kid with disability with big glasses reading book

In response to a forum letter advocating for children’s empathy towards their peers with disabilities, the Ministry of Education (MOE) reaffirms its commitment to nurturing understanding and empathy among students towards those with special educational needs (SEN) and called on parents to work hand in hand with the Ministry, reports The Independent.

Dayna Chia, Divisional Director for the Special Educational Needs Division at MOE, emphasizes the comprehensive character and citizenship education (CCE) curriculum, beginning from primary school, which instills values of empathy and respect towards persons with disabilities. As students progress to secondary school, they delve deeper into understanding the challenges faced by people with disabilities and recognize their potential contributions to society.To reinforce these lessons, students engage in meaningful interactions with differently abled peers through various school experiences, including co-curricular activities and inter-school events.

MOE facilitates sustained interactions between students with disabilities through joint activities like sports and performing arts, fostering empathy and inclusivity. Peer support structures, such as the Circle of Friends program, help students understand and support their peers with SEN, developing valuable skills like active listening.

MOE emphasizes the need for efforts to promote inclusivity and empathy beyond schools, urging parents and the wider community to join in fostering these values. Together, they aim to nurture empathetic individuals who appreciate diversity and embrace inclusion in their daily lives.