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Teachers exempted from internet access ban, but not MOE HQ

SINGAPORE – Teachers will continue to have Internet access on their work computers though officials working in the headquarters of the Ministry of Education (MOE) will not be exempt from a policy change that will ban Net surfing from work stations in the public service.

TODAY file photo

TODAY file photo

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SINGAPORE – Teachers will continue to have Internet access on their work computers though officials working in the headquarters of the Ministry of Education (MOE) will not be exempt from a policy change that will ban Net surfing from work stations in the public service.

“All teachers continue to have access to teaching and learning resources on the Internet from their computers,” a MOE spokesperson said in response to queries from TODAY. “Teachers currently work on a separate network that will not be connected to the Government Enterprise Network.”

The spokesman added: “MOE HQ is not exempted from the internet access ban.”

The ministry’s clarifications came a day after news emerged that those working in the public service would not be able to access the Internet on their work computer by May next year, following an “extensive review” by the Government. The decision, confirmed by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), drew criticisms from some civil servants who felt the move would hurt productivity.

A memo sent to teachers explained that the decision was made in light of growing concerns about cyber security. “As cyber security threats contionue to evolve, it is important for the Government Networks to remain secure to prevent deliberate cyber attacks resulting in undesirable leakage of sensitive government data,” according to the memo, a copy which was seen by TODAY.

The memo assured, however, that schools will continue to have access to the Internet “as schools are more dependent on the use of Internet for teaching and learning”.

The education ministry’s information technology branch is reportedly working with schools “on plans for continued access to Internet” and will disclose more details in October, the memo said without giving further information.

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