Pre-school's policy to safeguard welfare of children, staff

We thank readers for their views and comments ("Firing staff with TB sends wrong message" by Mr Tai Yu Hsiang; last Friday, "Dismissing staff with TB worsens stigma of disease" by the National University Hospital, the National University of Singapore and Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and "Overreaction may deter others from seeking early treatment" by the Society of Infectious Disease (Singapore), the Academy of Medicine, Singapore and the Infection Control Association (Singapore); both published on Monday).

It is most unfortunate that our teacher at our Little Green House Bukit Batok pre-school was diagnosed with an active tuberculosis (TB) infection.

This case has caused considerable concern among parents and the public.

Since then, we have dealt with the incident swiftly and comprehensively in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and the Tuberculosis Control Unit.

We thank these organisations for their strong support and prompt assistance rendered.

We understand that there has been considerable speculation about whether our company will be terminating the employment of the affected teacher.

We agree with the opinion that dismissing an employee "solely because of TB would send the wrong message to society, exacerbate the current stigma already associated with the disease, and perpetuate marginalisation of the sick".

It is not our company's stand to terminate the employment of the affected teacher because of the disease.

Our company policy has always been to ensure the safety and well-being of children entrusted under our care, as well as our staff.

We do not discriminate against those who have contracted infectious diseases. However, we will take necessary precautions to protect children and staff at our school against infectious diseases.

Our internal protocols require any staff member (or child) who has contracted an infectious disease to produce a letter from a medical professional certifying him fit and no longer posing a health risk to others, before we can allow the staff member (or child) to return to the school.

Similarly, for the affected teacher in this case, we will await her medical clearance before allowing her to return to work.

We are grateful to have received words of encouragement, care and concern so far.

We will continue to do our best to support all children and parents at our Bukit Batok pre-school in the coming weeks and months ahead.

Peh Yi Han

Chief Operating Officer

Global EduHub

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2016, with the headline 'Pre-school's policy to safeguard welfare of children, staff'. Print Edition | Subscribe