Para teacher scheme is a programme of the Singapore government targeted at encouraging more people to take up teaching as a profession. It was first introduced in 2007, but has since been modified and extended to 2020. Here are some things that make you love and hate para teacher scheme. Para teacher oikya manch is also known as Para teacher scheme,para teachers,para teacher scheme tpti.
Things That Make You Love And Hate Para Teacher Scheme :
The para teacher scheme offers benefits such as an allowance and a monthly payment for each student in the class, which is between $60 and $120. The allowance is payable once you hit a certain income threshold, which is 5 times the monthly allowance.
2. Career Opportunities
When you complete your training, you are given the option to become a full-time Primary School teacher or move on to the next level of your career in education. After 3 years of service as a para teacher, there will be career opportunities open to you outside of teaching such as taking up leadership positions in MOE or joining policymaking bodies like TCDS or HDB.
The Para teacher develops the skills, knowledge and confidence to become a full-time Primary School teacher after probation. But if he/she finds that teaching is not his/her calling, he/she may exit the programme at any time. If you do not wish to continue in teaching, you can also choose to move on to pursue a different career within MOE. This gives you greater flexibility as compared to other programmes where your entire career is constrained within one industry segment.
4. Financial Security
Para teachers are provided with a $5,000 interest-free loan for their professional development courses (up from $1,500 under the 2007 scheme). This is to ensure that para teachers have sufficient funding to pay for their tuition and other costs incurred during their professional development course.
5. Classes in High-Demand Schools
When you are first posted, you will be sent to schools facing shortage of manpower, or schools where the students’ performance has been below the standard. This allows para teachers to be sent to the right environment so that they can gain meaningful experience in their early stages of service. This is one area which makes para teachers stand out as compared to other professions or industry segments where they are often placed into roles which don’t require much experience on their part.
6. High Pay Scales
Para teachers are paid at a higher rate than most of their counterparts in the industry. This is to recognise their value as professionals as well as the additional responsibilities that they shoulder when they become para teachers. The starting monthly pay of a para teacher is between $2,500 – $3,000, and after 3 years of service, the top salary range is approximately $7,500 – $9,500. This is higher than the typical salary range of many other professions, and comes with a very stable long-term career, unlike that of most other careers which require frequent promotion and frequent change to stay relevant.
7. Para Teacher Scheme And Qualifications
As part of the para teacher scheme, you will undergo a 2-year training course over an 8-month period in either one of two options: Primary School or Secondary School. A Primary School trained teacher will work as a Kindergarten teacher in the first year and Secondary School trained teachers will work as TGT Teachers. After leaving the training centre, you are required to apply for the probationary posting test at schools all around Singapore. When you pass the probationary posting test, you will officially become a Primary School or Secondary School teacher with MOE.
8. Para Teacher Scheme and Recognition
While it has its benefits, some things to consider is that there is no appreciation from the school community as our teaching is seen as ‘substitute’ teachers have no recognition from the community. Also, the para teacher scheme does not provide any OA for this group of teachers in NTU, NUS or SMU which I think should be a consideration when deciding to join para teacher scheme.
9. Para Teachers Should Be Recognized
There should be some recognition for those who want to be a para teacher other than just being posted to a school. Perhaps being able to use for a PED/PPSP etc will help some consider joining the scheme. Other than that, it is very admirable that as para teachers, we are given the opportunities to experience teaching in schools and gaining firsthand knowledge from our students and peers. This is one of the most valuable things one can take away from this scheme!
10. Career Advancement
With the para teacher scheme, one is able to advance their careers by getting into a full-time role in MOE and gaining exposure in different schools across Singapore. After 3 years, they can look at other career options such as policy work, management, administration and leadership roles. This gives para teachers greater career opportunities than that of most other professions or industry segments where their entire career is confined within one industry or profession segment.