No need to charge teachers for parking in school

It saddened me to read that the Ministry of Education is looking at imposing carpark charges in schools ("MOE reviewing free school parking"; yesterday).

Some government agencies are located in commercial premises together with other commercial entities, so it makes sense to impose parking charges due to the high traffic in and out of the buildings.

School premises can be quite different, as the public do not enter the schools. Carparks there are solely for the educators in the schools.

Furthermore, visitors to the schools do not park for long hours, so there is clearly no abuse of school carpark spaces.

I sincerely hope the MOE does not impose any parking charges in the school premises.

Nowadays, the role of teachers has become much more challenging and demanding.

 

Good teachers are hard to find and we should be considering more initiatives on how we can encourage and assist them in carrying out their work more efficiently and effectively, instead of increasing their expenses.

Most parents would certainly agree that teachers should, at the very least, be entitled to a free parking spot.

Most teachers are parents themselves and they, too, would love to spend more time with their own children.

There are many teachers who are willing to sacrifice their own time to remain in school to provide additional guidance to weaker students.

Instead of getting recognition or incentives to further motivate them, they are facing the prospect of higher expenses in the form of parking charges incurred on premises meant solely for school use. If I were a teacher, I would be deeply disheartened by this piece of news.

There are still many areas where the duties of teachers can be reviewed to give them more time to focus on teaching, so I would rather the ministry spent more time on such areas.

As a parent, I thank all the dedicated teachers - our unsung heroes - for their efforts, much of which has yet to be recognised.

Michelle Teh Dan Lin (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2016, with the headline 'No need to charge teachers for parking in school'. Print Edition | Subscribe