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Parking perks for teachers are being reviewed

Is free parking a right or privilege for teachers?

Muhammad Iqbal
Muhammad Iqbal

Published: 15 January 2016, 2:12 PM

Teachers with their own vehicles may not enjoy free or subsidised parking in school for much longer. As the Ministry of Education (MOE) looks into the parking policies in schools, teachers who drive to work should probably start looking for alternative parking near their schools.

What’s going on?

Last week, The Straits Times reported that MOE is reviewing the carpark charges for teachers in schools.

Schools have been allowing staff to park for free, or charging parking fees below the market rate. The Auditor-General was disapproving of the matter after reviewing the financial lapses in the government for the 2014/2015 financial year.

The policy was flagged out because there were financial lapses at public sector bodies in the annual report. The MOE said that it was “in accordance to civil service guidelines”.

If there are any changes, teachers from more than 360 schools and colleges will be affected.

 

Institutes of Technical Education (ITE), Singapore polytechnic and Temasek polytechnic are among those that allow free or subsidised parking for staff.

 

The news has attracted strong reactions, with netizens showing discontent towards the potential change in policy. Many argued that a teacher’s job is mentally and physically exhausting and teachers deserve free parking.

 

Some netizens showing their concern through the MOE Facebook page.

 

A teacher from a school in the East side of Singapore expressed her discontent. She told Youth.SG: “Some of us teachers arrive in school early to prepare for class and we often leave late to handle administrative things.”

“It is definitely a headache to think about parking fees while we want to do our work in school. Having one of our job perks taken away is rather painful.”

Another teacher, 22, also frowned upon the news. Although she does not drive, she said: “It is true that we are also civil servants but I feel that our job is incomparable to other civil servants. This will only deter the teachers from staying back after school to help students.”

 

As if being a teacher is not hard enough.
Photo credit: sgag.sg

 

However, not everyone felt the same way. Some online users made compelling arguments on why it was not a bad idea to charge teachers for parking.

Mohd Zulhilmie, 22, felt there is nothing wrong with the government reviewing the matter, and teachers are not the only civil servants working hard.

The accident and emergency nurse from National University Hospital said: “Social service officers, nurses and doctors also work hard for the benefit of others. So should all the hardworking workers get free parking?”

Republic Polytechnic graduate Muhd Nur Hasfis, 22, also thinks taking away this parking perks will not impact many teachers.

He said: “I think it will not be the worst thing to happen to teachers. In fact, most teachers do not own a vehicle. Plus, I do not understand all the fuss when the government hasn’t implemented anything yet.”

What’s your take?

1. Do you think that teachers should pay for parking just like other civil servants? Why?
2. If this system is implemented and teachers stay back in school for student consultation, who should bear the cost of the parking fees?

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