Teachers not obliged to give up own time

As a student, I strongly believe that teachers should not be obliged to "serve" our young at the expense of their own health and families.

Indeed, their duty is to educate our young - the definition of which has been extended to encompass holistic development - and not to be babysitters.

Perhaps because many of our teachers selflessly accompany students on events, we have developed a culture of expecting our teachers to take students as their sole purpose of living. This is unrealistic and unhealthy.

We shouldn't expect schools to fit their schedules around working parents. Our teachers have full-time jobs, as well as spouses, children and their own lives to take care of.

We need to realise that our teachers have their own personal lives. While many are willing to assist students, even at the expense of their own time, this is not an obligation.

We should be appreciative and work towards improving the working conditions of teachers, which might ultimately attract more to the profession, further enhancing the quality of our education system.

Isabel Chan Jia Yi, 16, Secondary 4 student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2016, with the headline 'Teachers not obliged to give up own time'. Print Edition | Subscribe