During a degree and diploma award ceremony held at the National Institute of Education (NIE) yesterday (Jan 12), Minister of State for Education, Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary waxed lyrical about the teaching profession when he was not a teacher. The Minister claimed that teachers are “facilitators” and should not be “instructors”.

“The NIE Teaching and Learning Framework aims to foster learner experiences characterised by the ‘EPIIC’ acronym – Experiential, Participatory, Image-rich, Inquiry and Connectivity. Under this framework, you, our teachers, take the role of ‘facilitators’ rather than ‘instructors’.

Being a facilitator means you have the important task of guiding students to engage in meaningful and critical discussions that promote creative thinking, collaborative sharing and self-reflection.”

This is not the first gaffe of the Malaysia-born PAP Minister who did not serve National Service. In 2011, when criticised by Singaporeans for never served a day of NS, Janil Puthucheary said he spent 10 years saving babies’ lives as a doctor at KK Hospital. The PAP Minister obtained Singapore citizenship in 2007 and contested under Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC.

Janil Puthucheary’s father was a founding member of the PAP political party.