Teacher strikes a winning chord

Published: July 8, 2008 | 7171st good news item since 2003

THE world may know only one Carlos Santana — the guitarist and rock musician — but at Mayflower Primary, there are quite a few of him, so to speak.

Thanks to “Project Carlos Santana”, :conceptualised by Mr Melvin Cher, the school’s acting subject head of art and aesthetics, every student is given the opportunity to learn to play the guitar.

For his innovation and passion in developing his students through music and aesthetics, Mr Cher received the Outstanding Youth in Education Award yesterday. He was one of three teachers to receive the National Youth Council award for educators under 30.

:Mr Cher, who joined the school three years ago, said: “What inspires me is being able to give a child the opportunity to grow and to develop. I see that happening in my music class — not so much through just learning an instrument, but the kind of discipline, values and disposition it inculcates.” :

:The school’s modular music programme goes beyond the recorder, keyboard or usual classical string instruments — students are exposed to a variety of world music.

:Mr Cher has also played an integral role in moulding the school’s Primary Five and Six music programmes, which started two years ago.

:Said Principal Zainal Sapari: “He is doing it for the kids, and he is very humble in terms of learning from his peers and his colleagues.”: :

:The other two recipients of the award are Mr Quek Swee Nee from Bukit View Primary and Ms Chua Hwee Pheng from Paris Ris Crest Secondary.

:The award is supported by the Teachers Network and is for educators who go beyond teaching the formal curriculum to nurture their pupils. Winners get a trophy and certificate, and will be fully sponsored to attend an overseas conference to further their professional development. :

:Education Minister Ng Eng Hen, who handed out the honours at the National Institute of Education Teachers’ Investiture Ceremony, said that new programmes will be introduced over the next two years to help teachers upgrade. He encouraged teachers to make the most of the opportunities.:

:These include a part-time Bachelor of Education programme specially customised for non-graduate primary school teachers; and a new Masters programme — the MTeach — which is currently in development and is expected to accept its first intake in 2010.

A total of 1,672 newly-qualified teachers will receive their NIE diplomas this week.

Published in Teachers
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