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School parking (Source: Straits Times).

Carpark fee to be introduced to all national schools and junior college from 1 August

Following a carpark policy review for schools, teachers at all national schools and junior colleges will have to pay when they park their vehicles on the school premises starting from 1 August.

To park in uncovered lots, teachers will have to pay for $75 a month during the school term and $15 a month during the school holidays in June, November and December. While, those who wish to park in sheltered lots, have to pay for $100 a month during the school term and $20 a month during school holidays.

For motorcyclists, they will have to pay $13 a month at uncovered carparks during school term and $2 during school holidays. While they have to $14 during school term and $3 during school holidays to be able to park their vehicle in sheltered carpark.

Canteen stall operators, and coaches and instructors who go to schools regularly are said to have to pay for season parking. However, parking fees will not apply to ad hoc visitors such as parents or volunteers.

It was said that some schools conducted an urgent meeting for the teachers to announce the policy, which are slightly cheaper than HDB parking. There are about 360 primary and secondary schools and junior colleges.

Ministry of Education (MOE) started the move in 2015, after reviewing free parking in schools.

In the 2015 annual report of financial lapses in public-sector bodies, Auditor-General's Office found that three education institutions did not impose charges or imposed below market rate charges for use of their car pars. Such practices are tantamount to providing hidden subsidises for vehicle parking and not in line with the requirement laid down in the Government Instruction Manuals. The three institutions are; Institute of Technical Education, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic.

All five polytechnics in the country started charging staff for parking on their premises from October 2017. The monthly fees for season parking are at S$80 for surface carparks and S$110 for sheltered spaces.

MOE posted its acknowledgement on its Facebook post that time, saying that there has been much online chatter on the review of free parking in schools.

"We understand the concerns raised and we are with you in appreciating the dedication and hard work by all our teachers. We seek your patience and understanding as we are still in the process of reviewing the carpark policy for schools, bearing in mind civil service guidelines and recent AGO observations. We are taking the time to do this carefully," it added.

Some commented that this move as being unnecessary and ridiculous.

John Khoo wrote, "if you want to charge for parking, then start allowing teachers to claim for transport charges when they are asked to bring students out for competitions, or asked to go for courses that require them to rush down in cabs after school. How about starting to allow teachers to claim for all their additional expenses when they fork out money of their own to buy extra things for their classes? This is the most ridiculous policy ever."

Benedict Wong wrote, "Then let’s implement fair claims too. Pay teachers OT pay for the times they stay back after school & billable hours for marking of assignments & weekend cca training and comps , as well as overseas allowance when they go with students for overseas trips, competitions etc. Oh ya, pen, eraser, pencil bought by themselves also can claim from MOE la. Also, honest question, is this implemented in places like parliament house, ministries like MOM etc ... must be fair right?"

Mohammad Ismail Hameed wrote, "When everything is so administratively accounted, teachers efforts will be calculated too.. no more teachers willing to go the extra mile. Sad day."

Mezame Shashin-ka wrote, "I’m so glad I’ve left the service. Hope more will follow suit. The grass is greener on the other side. Actually, come to think of it, there was no grass at all on MOE’s side of the fence. Teachers love working with kids but MOE’s administrative nonsense, bureaucratic ways and stupid, asinine policies are major push factors for ANY teacher, good or bad, to leave."

Khairudin Salim wrote, "Charging teachers who drive to pay for parking in school? Hmm why? They are teaching the kids. Who the hell introduce this idea?"

Jonus Jun wrote, "I don't understand why need teachers to pay for parking? Years ago MOE wanted to people to teach, and these group of people sacrifice their time and effort to a career that requires great patience. Imagine they need to deal with schools, kids and even unreasonable parents and MOE just created one unnecessary problem for them. You are Ministry of Education, not Ministry of Transport."

Jahangir Ibrahim wrote, "When teachers are charged even for parking their vehicles,I see 2 things one everything have materialised in Singapore where by,teaching will loose it's soul,2nd have Singapore loose so much of money under Temesek Holdings that they have to find lots of unscrupulous methods to milk the people out of money, Singapore as Country have died but as Corporation it's thriving but without a soul."

Mohd Kasim Aj wrote, "It's high time teachers who have to work beyond 8 hours be paid overtime or days off in lieu. They are in school before 7am and end mostly before 7pm. They sacrifice their own children and family time to make the future generations of Singapore get the best education yet giving them free parking in their own school compound is too much to ask. Ministry of Education, Singapore"

 

Ken Ng How about to charge parking to those paper generals n regulars in the army camp too. Good idea. ? They are paid well , charged them high carpark fee for parking in camp. They are loaded.

Editor's note - Ken Ng's comment hit the right spot in a different way. The reason why army doesn't charge parking fees is because the public is not supposed to be using the facilities in the first place unless it is for official business. Primary, Secondary schools and JCs, they are also in the same situation. No member of the public, parent or student is allowed to park their vehicles unless on official business. As for polytechnics and ITE, it is a different situation with students and public being allowed to drive and park on the premises.