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Statistics on local Mother Tongue Language teachers in pre-schools

Type: Parliamentary Questions

Topic(s): Children & Families

19 February 2018


Mr Darryl David
MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC

To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what percentage of mother-tongue teachers in pre-schools are Singaporeans; and (b) what strategies are in place to develop more Singaporean mother-tongue teachers in pre-schools.


1. Today, about 75% of our early childhood educators who can be engaged to teach Mother Tongue Languages (MTL) are locals, which include both Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. Of the early childhood educators who specialise in teaching MTLs, about 60% are locals.

2. The Government has been working to encourage and support more locals to become MTL pre-school teachers. From 2016, Polytechnic students who wish to become MTL pre-school teachers can pursue specialised MTL tracks in Early Childhood. The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) also supports these students with training awards, such as course fee sponsorship, allowance grants and professional development grants.

3. To encourage mid-career entrants to join the sector, ECDA, Skills Future Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) also provide support for them to enrol in English or MTL Early Childhood diplomas offered by a range of training providers. The support is available in the form of course fee subsidies, in-training allowances and salary grants under the Professional Conversion Programme, and other place-and-train modes.

4. MOE annually presents the Outstanding Preschool MTL Teacher Award to raise the profile of MTL pre-school teachers. This Award recognises pre-school MTL teachers who have demonstrated passion, innovation and dedication.

5. Going forward, ECDA will work closely with the new National Institute for Early Childhood Development (NIEC) and other sector partners to enhance the training and career development of MTL teachers and encourage more locals to take up MTL teaching in pre-schools.