Concept of clean wage for teachers is dehumanising

It may be morally necessary, but not practically possible to pay teachers a clean wage (The morality of parking fees and a clean wage; May 3).

How much can a teacher claim for baking a cake to take for school day celebrations?

I am not upset that money is being collected. Else, how do we get world-class educational institutions and medical care at subsidised rates?

My objection is the rationale. To imply that there is such a thing as a clean wage for teachers, and to give the idea that everything can be paid or repaid in dollars and cents is dehumanising.

The writer seems to be unaware of the warm, uplifting feeling of doing something meaningful and good for another human being.

But, it was this that motivated me when I was a teacher.

My principal understood this and never demeaned my contribution with, for example, the promise of a promotion.

She just showed her genuine appreciation, and offered me help and understanding in return when I needed it.

The same can be said about the parking issue.

Was there any attempt to see if teachers have a problem with it? Does the concept of a clean wage send a wrong message to society that what teachers do can be accurately valued in monetary terms and, that in the past, teachers had not paid their dues in terms of parking fees?

Let's be a bit more sensitive about what we say to each other, especially in public and to a group of people that nurtures society.

Cheah Lay Hwa (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2018, with the headline 'Concept of clean wage for teachers is dehumanising'. Print Edition | Subscribe