Class dismissed: Teachers want parents not to disturb them beyond working hours, on weekends

Teachers want parents to behave. Yes, you read that right!

Clearly tired of parents contacting them late at night and even over the weekends, the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) has called on the Education Ministry to create a code of ethics when home-based teaching and learning is being carried out.

This was among some of the resolutions made during NUTP’s tri-annual meeting that was held online from July 8-10.

In explaining the move, NUTP general secretary Harry Tan Huat Hock said teachers have been “pretty much on-call, 24/7”.

“This was among the issues raised by most of the 174 delegates who attended our recent meeting,” said Tan, when contacted by Twentytwo13.

“It occurs frequently … Teachers will get phone calls from parents late at night, 10pm or even 11pm, and even on weekends.

“There’s no switch off time.”

He said the code of ethics by the ministry would help drill the point across to parents.

“Of course, at times, there are emergencies and there can be exceptions, but not all the time. The phones don’t belong to the school. Teachers use their personal phones, so they are on at all times.”

When asked if parents had disrupted teachers during classes, Tan said: “We’ve not heard of any such complaints. The parents are well behaved in that sense.”

The other resolutions made during the meeting included:

  • Teachers are allowed to send their children to nurseries. At the moment, only those in the essential services sector and frontliners are allowed to send their children to nurseries before heading to work.
  • The ministry sets aside a special quota of one per cent of the 18,702 teaching jobs to disabled teachers.