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Teachers cheered by call to be firm with pushy parents

Minister's remarks seen as 'moral support' in face of growing demands

Published on Sep 17, 2012 6:00 AM
 
Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat (left) speaking to educators after the 2012 MOE Workplan Seminar held at Ngee Ann Polytechnic Convention Centre. Some parents expect one-on-one tutoring for their children after school. Others want a guarantee that teachers will not raise their voices or scold them in front of their classmates. -- ST PHOTO: TED CHEN

Some parents expect one-on-one tutoring for their children after school. Others want a guarantee that teachers will not raise their voices or scold them in front of their classmates.

Principals and teachers say they were cheered by the Education Minister's call last week to handle parents' unreasonable demands with a firm hand.

Many say they have already begun to do it, as they encounter more such demands in the course of their work. Such demands do not faze principal Jenny Yeo of South View Primary - not any more.

"More parents are trying to assert their 'rights'... Some parents treat the teachers as though they only have one child to teach, which is a little self-centred."

 
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Background story

DEMANDING PARENTS IN ACTION

'My kid's not there, so don't teach the others'

My teachers spend a lot of extra time on pupils, even on Saturdays. But some parents don't want their child to spend time on a Saturday coming to school for extra classes. So they tell the teacher not to come back to teach the rest of the class. They do not want their child's classmates to benefit.

- Principal Jenny Yeo of South View Primary


Vulgarities and threats

Years back, a parent told me: 'You're not fit to be a teacher; you're fit to be a cleaner.' I also got scolded with vulgarities such as the F-word... Maybe these parents were having a bad day, but there is nothing I can do but wait for them to calm down and be reasonable.

Some children will also tell me: 'Don't touch me, or I will complain to MOE.' How would children know how to say this, if not for their parents?

- A teacher of 18 years from a primary school in the north