MOE's push needs ground-up support

Children preparing breakfast for their fathers at an event at Yu Neng Primary School yesterday.
Children preparing breakfast for their fathers at an event at Yu Neng Primary School yesterday.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

I congratulate the Ministry of Education (MOE) for its new set of guidelines on how parents and schools can work together for a child's benefit (MOE guide to help parents work better with schools, Feb 17).

It gives both parties a common starting point and also builds mutual respect for each other.

However, I feel that it is also important that MOE reinforce guidelines on current full-time school teachers who are especially active in after-school teaching in commercial schools and private tuition.

This excludes teachers who contribute to self-help and religious organisations.

School teachers must have a healthy work-life balance and should use their time outside school for family and rest.

This is necessary for them to focus on the very demanding work of teaching, motivating their students and other daily administrative duties.

Their salaries are already very competitively pegged with other industries to ensure that they do not burn out.

Having the credentials of being "National Institute of Education-trained" should certify that they have undergone enough rigour to guide our nation's students, and not be an automatic reason for them to jump into an already stressed-out private tuition market.

Shouldn't current full-time school teachers support the Education Minister in trying to downplay the over-reliance on private tuition?

His leadership has to have the support from the ground up and not just from parents.

Colin Ong Tau Shien

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2019, with the headline 'MOE's push needs ground-up support'. Print Edition | Subscribe