Dear Ms Lee Wei Yin,
Wow. I just read your letter to the papers and the sense of entitlement is astounding.
"The school is providing a service, with its customers being primarily the students who are minors, and the parents. Students need constant chaperoning."
Excuse me, a school is a not service. It is a partner in the educating of your kids. Students are not its "customers" and neither are teachers the only ones responsible for the education of your children.
You don't get to treat schools like commercial tuition centres, that you pay for. Even commercial tuition centres have working hours for their staff. Why should schools be any different?
"Parents pick schools with the "best service" to maximise the potential of their children. They have a strong preference for schools with the best results in major exams and strong showing at co-curricular activity (CCA) competitions, which means extra class time and training to boost results."
The schools with the best results in major exams and strong CCA are not doing well just because they put their teachers through extra hours. Many schools have the buy-in and commitment from parents too. Perhaps schools should in future, get to pick parents with the "best service" to the school to ensure they maximize the potential of their students.
"Most parents have full-time jobs and are not able to attend meet-the-parents sessions or student performances during normal school hours. Therefore, it is not realistic to have such sessions during weekday school hours."
Hello, teachers are also people with full-time jobs.
If you cannot make time to attend meet-the-parents sessions or student presentations during normal school hours, then too bad so sad, don't go. That's your choice and prerogative.
But don't expect schools and teachers to bend over backwards to accommodate your obviously super busy schedule.
Even childcare centres charge you extra money for every moment you are late picking up your children. They don't care if you have full-time jobs and cannot make it on time. And schools are not childcare centres.
"All this comes at a price for everyone involved."
Seems to me the price is being paid by the teachers themselves.
"Therefore, more teachers are needed on such occasions."
Frankly, I think the reason we have 5,000 teachers quitting in the last five years is because of attitudes like yours.
It's hard enough to replace the teachers leaving and you still want the MOE to "cut class size and share the work load"?
Meaning hire MORE teachers? From where? Who would want to join the education sector where parents treat schools like they are the customer? And you think good teachers grow on trees?
Eh, you go and join lah. Be a teacher and help to "share the work load" leh.
mrbrown, son of a former teacher of forty years, who was also a full-time mother and full-time wife.
Original Letter: Working after school hours part of 'service'