SINGAPORE — Cyber-wellness lessons for secondary school students under a new curriculum will integrate with real-life scenarios to help students recognize and respond to inappropriate and hurtful content, the Minister of Education said. State Education Sun Xueling.
During a visit to Compassvale Secondary School to observe one such class on Tuesday, January 18, Ms Sun noted that students these days face a variety of cyber threats and risks such as cyberbullying, addiction gambling, fake news and scams.
She told the media: “Through our lessons, our teachers use real-life examples, use videos and screenshots to show our students that this must be some of the material they encounter.”
Ms Sun added that it is important for students to process their emotions and feelings, and be aware that a culture of peer support is available in schools through which they can talk about these situations.
They can also talk to a trusted adult if they need additional help, such as counseling or following up with their parents.
Since the start of 2022, senior high school students across the island have learned a new Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) curriculum addressing cyber-wellness issues.
Announced in Parliament in 2020, the new curriculum will spend around 50% more time discussing cyber-wellness issues with students.
In March 2021, then Minister of Education Ong Ye Kung said the updated CCE curriculum was the result of a review that began in 2016.
The program was first rolled out for lower secondary students in 2021 before being extended to upper secondary students this year.
During Tuesday’s CCE class at Compassvale Secondary School, Year 4 students were asked to choose how they would react to a post about a social media influencer in Singapore.
Head teacher Wan Fazithahariani, who teaches English and led the class, said that compared to five years ago, students now face much more pressure online, so the emphasis on cyber-wellness as well as on mental health will help them deal with these challenges.