MOE should NOT make teachers pay parking in schools

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Dear all,

I write in response to the following article recently published:

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/teachers-parking-fees-schools-moe-ong-ye-kung-self-discipline-10276470

As a former MOE teacher, who had been through working 7-7 (sometimes more than 10pm) days, I would like to make an appeal to MOE that it should not go ahead with the car park policy.

As it is, Teachers are overworked and under paid civil servants. They wake up before 6 am, and make their way to school before 7:15 am, when most working adults in Singapore are still sound asleep, to prepare to take on the challenges of 'educating the nation's future'. Most teachers would teach a class size of 40 or more, way above the class size of other First World countries, eg Finland. Most first world countries have class sizes under 25. I find it ironical that as a first world country, Singapore still has the teacher to student ratio of a developing country. 

The average teacher's day would not stop at the bell when students can pack up and leave. Often they would have to stay back in school to do their markings (some have up to 10 classes of marking, especially when they teach lower secondary social studies and humanities), they have CCA on at least 2 times a week til 6 pm. Most teachers would only end their day after the sun had gone down.

Not to mention the countless hours contacting parents, updating them on their childrens' progress, making home visitations for students who have been absent due to various reasons, etc. They also spend time and money after school hours, coaching the kids in extra classes, and buying knick knacks to encourage them, and for special days (eg Childrens' Day). 

To go ahead with the carpark policy would be like a slap in the face - telling teachers that their work is not important or valued. This would have a negative effect on staff morale.

Should a 'clean wage policy' be the real issue, then the government should take ownership and make sure that ALL (including VIPs, and parents when they attend school functions) users of the carpark are charged an equal and fair rate. To call such a policy self discipline - it implies that there is actually no real external pressure for MOE to really carry out such a policy. Hence it is not too late to re-consider.

I hope more can come on board and give a voice to this.



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