Siglap Secondary’s discipline masters played futsal with worst-behaving students to get to know them
The students eventually became role models.
Two discipline masters from Siglap Secondary School took the unusual initiative in 2013 to play futsal with the worst-behaving students.
This story is recounted by Schoolbag, a website by the Ministry of Education.
The programme that incorporated futsal-playing allowed the teachers to better understand the students and offer them closer guidance.
These students eventually became role models for their peers until they graduated in 2017.
Bonding through futsal
According to Schoolbag, discipline master Mohamed Sayadi and his deputy, Khaliq, started a programme called Strivers in 2013.
This programme entailed weekly after-school futsal sessions between them and 15 secondary one boys who accounted for most of the serious school offences, such as disruptive behaviour, absenteeism, fighting, defiance and smoking.
After the end of each week’s match, they would have a reflection session to encourage each other and share more about what could have been improved.
Apart from futsal sessions, the discipline masters would also sit in their classes for one lesson each day to offer them one-on-one support.
And as the weeks passed, the boys gradually opened up about their domestic troubles and challenges.
Giving back to the community
A year later, the group started giving back to the community through raising funds, buying food hampers and cleaning the homes of the less privileged in the neighbourhood.
According to Khaliq, he noted that these activities were particularly beneficial to the boys:
“Many of them thought, ‘my life sucks’, ‘my family is not there for me’, and so on. But after they went to the homes and saw four kids crammed in a one-room flat, they realised they still had things to be thankful for.”
Since Siglap Secondary School’s merger with Coral Secondary School in 2017, the programme is now called the Meridian Lighthouse Programme.
It is no longer a scheme to help a select group of at-risk students and welcomes a wider group of students.
The group participates in after-school activities focusing on different skills applicable to daily life.
They also take part in a major activity at the end of the year, such as a trekking or adventure trip.
Even though the programme has expanded, Sayadi and Khaliq were pleased to observe that the original team of Strivers remained role models with “almost zero discipline cases” up until their graduation in 2017.
You can read the full story here.
Top photo via Siglap Channel Facebook and @SiglapSec Instagram
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