Forum: Pay rise a well-earned reward for the work teachers do

I refer to the news that teachers, allied educators and pre-school teachers in Ministry of Education (MOE) kindergartens will receive a pay increase of between 5 per cent and 10 per cent from Oct 1 as part of efforts to attract and retain talent (Teachers to get pay increase of between 5% and 10% from Oct 1, Aug 16).

As a former primary school teacher, I welcome this great news. Some of my former teaching colleagues and former classmates told me that they are very happy to hear this news.

Most of them told me that while their main motivation in this noble career is their students' progress and achievements, a decent salary and attractive benefits such as payouts under the Connect Plan are important too.

A teacher's workload does not always end in school; it is also taken home to be worked on in the evening, on weekends and even during public holidays.

Creating lesson plans for the week, marking students' assignments, drafting test papers and worksheets, and being in charge of at least one co-curricular activity and one school project are part of the routine for teachers.

Administrative work, such as communicating with parents and guardians through mobile apps, also takes up time and effort.

MOE's announcement of the pay hike is therefore timely, especially as the past two years have been very tough for educators, who had to ensure that students continued to receive quality education when normal classroom settings were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

School leaders and parents should also work closely and support our teachers to ensure that they remain committed to giving the best to their students.

Muhammad Dzul Azhan Sahban

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