Should teachers continue to get free parking in schools? Education Ministry looking into matter

The Ministry of Education is looking into whether public schools should continue to not charge staff for parking space in school compounds.
The Ministry of Education is looking into whether public schools should continue to not charge staff for parking space in school compounds.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Teachers may soon have to pay to park in schools.

It is understood that the Ministry of Education (MOE) is looking into whether public schools should continue to not charge staff for parking space in school compounds. Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao had reported on Thursday (Jan 7) that the ministry has been discussing the issue since the start of last year.

Currently, all public service organisations, including the Education Ministry, charge parking fees at their offices. But parking remains free at the primary and secondary schools and the junior colleges. Only school staff are allowed to park in schools.

Last year, the Auditor-General Office's (AGO) report highlighted how the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), the Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and the Temasek Polytechnic (TP) were not imposing parking charges, or charging below market rate, for the use of their carparks. The report said such practices "are tantamount to providing hidden subsidies for vehicle parking".

The report pointed out that ITE did not charge users for its carpark, and the estimated amount of parking fees forgone was $66,000 a month.

According to the report, SP implemented paid parking only in May 2013, but parking continued to be free for motorcycles. Parking was also free for those who parked their vehicles at the staff apartment carpark. Of those who were charged for parking, some users, such as the poly's staff, tenants, and contractors, paid below the market rate.

At TP, which started charging for parking in June 2014, it capped its daily carpark charges at $1.50 for staff, and $6 for other users, resulting in some users paying below market rate, the report went on.

Both the polys and the ITE had to review their parking charges.

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