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Guardians in Training: Embracing New Ways to Teach Our Officers
Meet ASP Ghazali, a veteran ICA officer who’s keen to embrace new ways to teach his trainees.

Home Team News ASP Ghazali 01C
PHOTO: Jade Tan

Where does the Home Team journey begin? 

For many young Home Team officers, the long and winding road towards a safe and secure Singapore starts at the Home Team Academy (HTA). At this vibrant learning hub, trainers like Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Ghazali Ibad of the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) nurture young trainees and seek to transform them into passionate and professional Home Team officers. 

“When the trainees first arrive at HTA, they don’t yet know the full scope of the work of an ICA officer,” said ASP Ghazali. “But by the time they graduate, they’ve become dedicated, competent officers. I see many officers whom I’ve trained excel in detection cases.”

Training Rigour
ICA trainees undergo foundational training at HTA for about four months before being posted to on-the-job training for a month. ASP Ghazali teaches his trainees the value of continuous learning so that they can build on the experiences and challenges they face on the ground.

Home Team News ASP Ghazali 02B
PHOTO: Cheryl Soh

ASP Ghazali’s area of expertise comprises baggage, body and vehicle searches. He also conducts training on cargo security and documentation. “At our checkpoints, most of the illicit items are detected by ICA officers,” said ASP Ghazali. “Certain situations on the ground might seem innocuous, but with experience, ICA officers know what to look for.”

A New Way of Teaching
ASP Ghazali has served with ICA for almost 40 years. He was initially apprehensive about becoming a trainer, but the connections he has formed with his trainees hearten him and keep him passionate about his work. “Even after graduating from the Academy, some of them will contact me if they have anything they need to clarify,” he says. 

Over the years, ASP Ghazali has witnessed the evolution of ICA’s training capabilities. He’s keenly aware of how the dynamics of teaching have changed and that training methods must adapt to the needs of the Home Team. 

That’s why he’s determined to make learning a two-way process. “When I joined ICA in 1980, the method of delivering training was still very traditional,” he recalls. “The instructor would stand at the front of the class and the trainees would just listen. But now, it’s a totally different ball-game. We constantly interact with our trainees, to provide a better learning experience.”

Home Team News ASP Ghazali 03B
PHOTO: Jade Tan

To sharpen his own skills as a trainer, ASP Ghazali attended HTA’s UP-SCALE (Upgrading Professionally through Specialist Certificate in Adult Learning and Education) programme, which inspired him to introduce blended learning into his lessons, allowing trainees to readily access study materials online. “As most of my trainees are young, online learning is to their advantage,” he explains. “By equipping officers with more tools for self-learning, we can encourage trainees to participate more and take greater ownership of their learning.”

Asked what essential advice he offers to younger officers, ASP Ghazali had this to share: “I started out as a junior officer myself, and I always tell them to work hard and to perform well on the ground!”
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Jade Tan
  2. 17 December 2019
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