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MOE plans to train more school workers, including teachers, in managing security incidents

SINGAPORE 一 Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Tuesday (July 27) that his ministry would like to increase the number of people in schools who are trained in security incident management, including cross-training teachers to be equipped in this area.

MOE plans to train more school workers, including teachers, in managing security incidents

It is the responsibility of schools to make sure that they have an incident management team ready to be activated at any point in time to respond to security and safety needs, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing (pictured) said.

SINGAPORE 一 Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Tuesday (July 27) that his ministry would like to increase the number of people in schools who are trained in security incident management, including cross-training teachers to be equipped in this area. 

He also said that the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be making sure, over time, that classrooms in all schools could be locked from the inside. 

He was speaking on the topic of school security in response to several questions from Members of Parliament (MPs).

This came after he delivered a ministerial statement on the mental health of students in schools here after the alleged murder in River Valley High School where a 16-year-old student allegedly killed a boy he did not know.

The accused has been remanded for psychiatric assessment.  

Earlier in the day, Mr Chan said that the ministry’s preliminary assessment was that both staff members and students in the school had responded to the incident with the “run, hide, tell” steps they have been trained to do during emergencies. 

These drills with students were conducted using a terrorist attack from external forces as the baseline scenario.

What happened at River Valley High was a different scenario but they could still apply the same drill principles. 

“I think we will need to continue to have a variety of scenarios to alert our security managers, students and staff to the range of threats that might happen," he said.

“But despite that range of threats, some of the basic fundamental drills, the principle behind the drills, are applicable. And that has been demonstrated in this particular incident.”

The training by MOE aside, schools have to make sure that they have an incident management team ready to be activated at any point in time, even though teachers and staff members are rostered and posted to different schools from time to time.

“In the event of a shortfall because of the posting cycle, we will quickly remedy that by making sure that the necessary people are trained to execute the actions accordingly,” Mr Chan added. 

When asked by Mr Gerald Giam, MP for Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC), if all schools have classrooms that can be locked from the inside, Mr Chan said that improvements to a school’s security infrastructure are done together with the school’s upgrading programme, so those that have undergone this programme would have the locking mechanism. 

MOE is progressively expanding it to the remaining schools.

Without the locking mechanism, teachers and students are taught to barricade themselves with whatever they have. 

In response to Aljunied GRC MP Sylvia Lim who asked whether security operations managers employed at schools are required to have military or law enforcement experience, Mr Chan said that it is not a prerequisite for security operations personnel to be trained in the armed forces or the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

This is because they may have security and organisational experiences elsewhere. 

Related topics

Chan Chun Sing MOE security safety schools River Valley High School

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