MOE Responds After Parents and Teachers Complained About Israel-Hamas Conflict Contents in Lessons


Israel-Hamas conflict.

We got your attention there, didn’t we? It’s not difficult to grab an average Singaporean’s attention these days — the mere mention of sensitive topics like the Israel-Hamas conflict is more than enough.

So, of course, all eyes are now on the Ministry of Education (MOE) after the ministry decided to have schools conduct lessons on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Suffice it to say that Singaporeans aren’t very happy with the lessons conducted. Here’s everything you need to know about it and MOE’s response to Singaporeans’ complaints.

Complaints About MOE’s Lesson Content on Israel-Hamas Conflict 

On Friday (23 February), MOE suddenly found itself in the crosshairs of Singaporean parents and teachers.

And no, their gripe with MOE wasn’t with the canteen food standards, school uniform aesthetics, or whatnot.

Their gripe with MOE related to MOE’s lesson content on the Israel-Hamas conflict — content that primary and secondary schools started covering during their character and citizenship education (CCE) lessons in February 2024.

That’s good and all — exposing students to contemporary issues and giving students the opportunity to discuss these issues with their peers. So, what exactly is the problem that Singaporeans have with these lessons?

According to the slew of Instagram stories, emails to Education Minister Chan Chun Sing, open letters to MOE, and even comments on MOE’s Facebook page, Singaporeans’ main problem with the lessons is this: the lesson content is seemingly lacking.

For one, Singaporeans allege that students were wrongly taught that “Hamas does not believe in Israel as a nation and wants the total destruction of Israel'”.

Image: Instagram (@emiloolatbookoo)

Others also complained that the lesson content failed to dive into the historical origins of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Parents and teachers alike were unhappy with the lesson content, harbouring concerns that the content was insufficient and inaccurate.

I guess the EduSave Endowment Fund top-up announced during Budget 2024 could only do so much. 

MOE’s Response to Complaints

MOE has since responded to these complaints.

For starters, MOE emphasised the rationale behind CCE lessons in the first place: to support the holistic development of students.

In other words, to make sure you’re not just a “study hard” kind of student, or what Gen Zs colloquially (and perhaps derogatorily) call a “mugger”. 


And how does MOE do so? One way is by including lesson content on contemporary issues, be it mental well-being or global affairs such as the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Students are encouraged to have constructive dialogues and discussions during these CCE lessons — sharing their thoughts and emotions while being respectful and sensitive to the views of others.

“In schools, teachers are trained to use age-appropriate methods to help students of different levels, from upper primary to pre-university, appreciate different dimensions of the issue, and discuss them sensitively and respectfully,” an MOE spokeswoman said.

MOE shared that the CCE lessons on the Israel-Hamas conflict were also for students to examine the conflict and understand the situation from Singapore’s perspective, including the need to preserve cohesion and harmony.

It’s a great way to expose students to important topics such as the Israel-Hamas conflict — giving students a safe space to understand the conflict and come to their own views while still appreciating the diverse perspectives involved.


It’s better than learning from keyboard warriors on Reddit.

The ministry also added that teachers do not impose their personal views on students or advocate the interests of any particular parties during the CCE lessons on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

So, what’s your take on the issue? Are the complaints about the lesson content valid? Or have the complaints been taken too far?