Following a viral outburst on social media by adjunct teacher Lenny Rahman that led to her leaving her post, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said that educators should be mindful of their behaviour on social media platforms.
Responding to queries from Straits Times, MOE divisional director of HR solutions and capabilities said, “MOE has a code of professional conduct that all educators, including flexi-adjunct teachers, are expected to adhere to. Educators should conduct themselves in a proper manner which upholds the honour and integrity of the teaching profession.”
In a post on Facebook dated 15 January which has been shared over 1,000 times and received 590 reactions, Ms Lenny lashed out at parents who do not teach their children basic language or read with them.
She called out parents who are too busy working to spend time with their children and questioned why they even had children in the first place.
She also stressed that reading is a basic necessity in every child’s life, just like food, clothes, and shelter and accused parents who do not teach their children of depriving them of education.
The post sparked a heated debate about who is responsible for teaching children how to read: teachers or parents.
A week later, Ms Lenney made a new Facebook apologising for the harshness of her initial rant. She said she was merely raising awareness of the issue and she stands by what she said.
Ms Lenny also said that she was asked to restrict the original post, which she did. But she chose not to delete it because she stands by her comments. Ms Lenny noted that she has since left the school she was working with.
Speaking to ST, Ms Lenny said she left the school voluntarily as she was concerned over her own safety after being threatened by members of the public for her statement. On top of that, she didn’t want to affect the school’s reputation.
Even so, Ms Lenny reiterated her stance, clarifying that her post was not directed at parents who are already trying to help their children. Rather, it was a ‘wake-up call’ to parents who ‘do not even want to try to get involved with their kids’ education’.
Some netizens agreed with the Ms Lenny’s stance about how parents should take more responsibility in teaching their children at home while one person in particular called for her to be reinstated:
Others were of the opinion that her departure was welcome, noting that her outburst was too harsh especially for an educator:
TOC has reached out to MOE for comment.