Education policies, curriculum will remain anchored on Singapore’s prevailing family values and social norms: MOE

The Ministry of Education said that schools and institutions of higher learning must remain “safe spaces” for the pursuit of knowledge.

Nigel Chin

Started writing for the passion. Now writing because it’s the only thing I can do.

Published: 24 August 2022, 10:10 AM

Education policies and curriculum will remain anchored on Singapore’s prevailing family values and social norms in light of the announcement that the Government will repeal Section 377A

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said in a statement on Monday (Aug 22) that the values and social norms, which include the family as the cornerstone of Singapore’s social fabric and marriage between a man and a woman, is something that the “majority of Singaporeans” want to uphold. 

MOE added that schools and institutions of higher learning “must remain safe spaces for the pursuit of knowledge”, instead of places for advocacy or contestation on socially divisive issues. 

Sexuality education taught in Singapore’s educational institutions will “remain secular”, based on traditional values, and sensitive to the multiracial and multireligious make-up of our society, MOE’s statement read.

The education ministry also urged students to learn and practice values such as mutual understanding, respect and empathy for everyone. 

“Bullying and cancel culture must not take root in our education institutions and society. Our education institutions will continue to partner parents to guide our children, and provide counselling and socio-emotional support to all students according to their needs,” MOE said.  

At the National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong explained that the decision to repeal Section 377A came after the Minister for Law K Shanmugam and the Attorney General Lucien Wong advised that there was a risk of it being struck down on the grounds that it breaches the Equal Protection provision in the Constitution. 

PM Lee added that it was the right thing to do and something that most Singaporeans will accept, and the move to repeal 377A will bring the law into line with current social mores and provide some relief to gay Singaporeans. 

However, the constitution will be amended to protect the definition of marriage, which remains between a man and a woman. In explaining so, PM Lee said that most Singaporeans do not want the repeal of 377A to trigger a drastic shift in societal norms across the board, including how marriage is defined, what is taught to children in schools, what is shown on free-to-air tv and in cinemas. 

He also said that there will be no changes to national policies, which rely upon the definition of marriage. 

In a separate statement on Monday, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said that policies on media content will not be changed.

LGBT content will continue to warrant higher ratings, said MCI. It added that it reaffirms the Government’s decision that the repeal of 377A “does not mean that we are changing the tone of society”.

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