Very disappointed with MOE's decision to charge teachers for parking in schools

By Matt MQ

As an educator and having worked with MOE for 15 years, I must say I am very disappointed with this latest stipulation; although we have been expecting this for some time already, looking at the way the government has been increasing GST, prices of transportation etc.

As the man on the ground would say, “Everything is increasing in cost, except our pay.” It merely reinforces the perception that this country and its establishment is all about tangibles, physical wealth, cost and status where KINDNESS and EMPATHY are steadily eroded and merely become mere lip service both in the Civil Service and private sectors.

Mainly, this is to placate those who have been bemoaning the fact that they have to pay parking fees at their own places of work so teachers should not be exempt.

One must also examine the CONTEXT of the occupation and the requirements of the education calling. Often, teachers are called to stay in schools more than 12 hours a day attending meetings, supervising CCAs, giving consultations to students, attending to Committees etc. The teachers then have to lug back piles of marking back home to mark constantly while also having to deal with demanding parents and increasingly errant children.

The free parking was one of the few incentives for such dedicated educators to continue staying on in the service and contributing for a longer period of time because of their expertise and experience.

Now, even the few last incentives are being stripped away from those who devote their lives to nurturing Singapore’s next generation.

Imagine a large amount of pay siphoned off monthly; especially for teachers who stay far away from the school or who are less mobile (Pregnant, senior citizens etc).

How about freelance instructors who have to drive all over Singapore to various schools too etc?

As it is, those who are freelancers already struggle with expenses due to lack of regularity in projects and competition.

The government keeps talking about how they want to encourage a GIG economy for freelancers, but aren’t all these costly measures actually CONTRADICTING what they want to supposedly encourage, which actually pretty much sums up what they have been doing all these years?

For every small token ‘ANG PAO’ given, it hardly negates the DRAINING EFFECTS of increasing costs inflicted on the hapless population trying to eke out a decent living in the first place. In fact, it's common knowledge and street talk that for EVERYTHING the government seems to generously GIVE, they TAKE BACK A LOT MORE than what they offer.

It seems that the quest for governmental revenue has become such a monolithic monstrosity that citizens of this country are being over-taxed in more ways than one.

The perception is that those in power keep ‘taking and taking’ but hardly give any forms of support and leeway for its increasingly worn out citizens; especially educators.

Is this the kind of money driven and materialistic society we want our children to be brought up in?

Sadly, we may not have much of a choice if the powers that be still remain unchallenged and unchecked.

When those in power draw million-dollar salaries but do not know how difficult it is like to eke out a daily living as an average citizen; with astronomical escalating costs of living and hardly any measures to buffer or counter such pressures, is it any wonder that many Singaporeans are contemplating migration?

So, are we encouraging conformists who have no space or platform to discuss these issues openly and transparently?

The QUESTION remains: WHAT MESSAGE ARE WE SENDING TO OUR PUBLIC SERVANTS AND THE NEXT GENERATION when it is all about money, costs, revenue at the people’s expense?


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