Right before teacher’s day, Chan Chun Sing announced that the Ministry of Education (MOE), together with the Ministry of Health Office for Healthcare Transformation, launched a new emotional support portal for teachers. The portal “mindline at work for MOE”, supposedly allows educators to “share their emotions and concerns anonymously”.
Apparently the bot is “by educators for educators”. Yet, teachers who tried the portal ended up being gaslighted by a robot.
“It’s all in your head.”
One teacher shared screenshots of their conversation with the bot. Not only did the bot not address the teacher’s concerns, it basically told the teacher that their struggles is “all in your head”.
Teacher: I am stressed because I cannot finish marking.Mindline at work for MOE
Bot: An effective way to deal with such feelings is to reframe our thoughts about the situation… I try to rethink how I am looking at the situation till I feel better. So, let’s try that.
You can see the full conversation here:
“That’s all I have to say to you”
Another teacher tried to consult the bot about their workload, going into detail about how the school overworks their teachers. Instead of helping, the bot basically told the teacher that they have no solutions to provide.
Teacher: My school loads me up with the normal workload plus many additional administrative tasks. I feel like I don’t have time to hone my teaching skills and my students are badly affected.Mindline at work for MOE
Bot: Tell me more about that.
Teacher: That’s all I have to tell you.
Bot: That is all I have to say too.
“Suck it up and deal with it.”
If you thought the previous conversations were bad enough, here’s another. A teacher was talking about their stress, and the bot decided that the best response is to tell the teacher to “accept what is happening”.
Teacher: I am so stressed up with the ranking system. My colleagues are constantly competing to get recognition for projects that they did not contribute much to.Mindline at work for MOE
Bot: The hardest part of moving on is accepting what is happening… Observe how it feels for a bit, just allowing it to exist.
MOE, this is not how you show teachers you care!
So much for announcing this as if it is the best teacher’s day present for teachers. This bot is a reflection of how much you really care. From letting a bot do your job, to telling school alumni to help teachers with their workload, how much more hands-off can you get?