Childcare teachers deserve more respect too

There is another group of teachers that needs highlighting ("Respect teachers as partners in education" by Mr Li Mingda; last Saturday).

Childcare teachers are often not seen to be as important as Ministry of Education (MOE) teachers, or given the same respect. The vast pay difference is a testament to that.

Childcare teachers are often termed "glorified babysitters". Most people see their role as "playing" with children the entire day. If more attention were given to what being a childcare teacher entailed, maybe this term would fade over time.

Childcare teachers work equally long hours as MOE teachers do (sometimes even more so, given that most centres close at 7pm).

They also have paperwork to do after the work day ends, and often have to plan excursions and activities to mark special occasions such as Children's Day.

Childcare teachers also have to handle parents tactfully, sometimes even more so than MOE teachers, as the children are younger.

In this day and age, parents are more demanding and, sometimes, the teachers get the full brunt of it.

Mr Li referred to how teachers do not have control over what students do outside of the classroom.

This predicament is similar to what childcare teachers face. Whatever might have been taught or corrected in school can easily be undone at home.

Thus, I call for more recognition and respect for childcare teachers. Parents, too, will feel the change and hopefully, come to respect them and work hand in hand towards a better education for their children.

Sharis Wong Chien En (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2016, with the headline 'Childcare teachers deserve more respect too'. Print Edition | Subscribe