A year after alleged murder of River Valley High student, school has more counsellors and wellness services hub
SINGAPORE: A year after the alleged murder of a Secondary 1 student at River Valley High School (RVHS), the school has increased its support to students, including having more counsellors and a one-stop hub for wellness services.
This is part of a concerted effort to look out for its students and staff who need socio-emotional support, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) in a statement on Saturday (Jul 16).
MOE said: "The school has been resourced with additional counsellors, and conducts mental well-being awareness talks for its students.
"Teachers actively seek to engage students with different learning and social emotional needs and seek to establish a caring and enabling school environment."
The school has also set up a student development hub to provide one-stop access to wellness services and an activity centre to provide more spaces for student-led activities.
"All these measures have had a positive impact on RVHS students," said MOE.
The school has also worked with its Parent-Teacher Association to organise talks and workshops for the wider parent community to share tips and advice in the area of supporting their children's well-being.
"We recognise that it will take time for the RVHS community to completely heal and recover. MOE and the entire education fraternity stand in full support for RVHS," said MOE.
"We will continue to work closely with the school to look out for those in need, and provide all necessary support to them," said the ministry.
TEACHERS' MENTAL HEALTH LITERACY STRENGTHENED
MOE added that it has also strengthened its teachers' mental health literacy progressively through further professional development.
"This includes understanding and recognising symptoms related to common mental health issues, using strategies to de-escalate strong emotions and impulsive behaviour, and facilitating classroom conversations on mental health with sensitivity."
Since July last year, an additional 130 teachers have received more counselling training and have been deployed as teacher-counsellors in schools.
They work together with school counsellors to offer support to students with social-emotional issues.
The ministry added that schools have also dedicated more time and space to look out for the well-being of students at the start of every school term.
Teachers have also been provided with practical resources and tools to regularly monitor and support students' well-being, said MOE.
SCHOOL SECURITY MEASURES
MOE added in its statement that it also regularly reviews its security procedures to ensure "a safe learning environment" in schools.
"Today, students and staff are trained on what they need to do in security emergencies, whether in schools or when they are outside," said the ministry.
"All schools have a School Emergency Structure and Standard Operating Procedures to respond to emergencies, to recover and restore the situation back to normalcy."
Schools also conduct emergency drills at least twice a year with their students and staff.
"MOE recognises that schools must be a safe place for learning, but also a place where students and staff are comfortable to socialise, interact and forge bonds with one another.
"We are mindful not to turn our schools into fortresses, which will run counter to our intent of building warm and inviting learning environments for our students."
On Jul 19 last year, a Secondary 4 River Valley High Student was arrested for the alleged murder of a Secondary 1 student in a toilet.
He was charged with murder the next day.
The Singaporean teen, who cannot be named as he is a minor and protected under the Children and Young Persons Act, was given one count of murder.
C. (2022, July 16). A year after alleged murder of River Valley High student, school has more counsellors and wellness services hub. CNA. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/year-after-alleged-murder-river-valley-high-student-school-counsellors-support-2815191