One point that has emerged in the discussion on teachers' long working hours is how teachers are assigned to oversee co-curricular activities (CCAs) and drive their progress ("Set limits so teachers get breathing space" by Mr Lionel Loi Zhi Rui; Oct 4, "A well-rested teacher benefits all" by Mr Ho Kong Loon; Forum Online, Monday, and "Is there a link between teachers' admin load and nation's tuition obsession?" by Mr Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan; Forum Online, Oct 4).
Of course, CCAs do involve external facilitators, such as coaches, but teachers have to take charge and deal with administrative tasks and the myriad of competitions.
In the past, it probably did not hurt to ask teachers to "double up" when their workload was not so stressful. However, this is not the case now.
The job of overseeing CCAs should be delegated to another group of trained professionals.
For instance, coaches and teachers specifically trained to develop CCAs may be internalised as part of the payroll of schools and the Ministry of Education.
Having dedicated and full-time resources for CCAs provides more focus for a school to review the desired skill sets. It is also more organised, purposeful and inclusive.
Removing CCA duties from teachers' workload does not take these educators away from the task of character building, which they still do in their daily lessons.
They can also participate in camps with students, without having to be involved in the organisation of such activities.
Hence, there can be a better spread of resources and more focus, so that CCAs can better build character and impart values.
Zann Lim Seok Bin (Ms)