In an early Teacher’s Day present, over 26,000 Singapore educators will be granted a salary increase of between 5 to 15 per cent with effect from 1 September 2012.
The Ministry of Education announced this on Friday, giving teachers an additional reason to celebrate Teachers’ Day on Saturday.
Current education officers in various General Education Officer (GEO) and Senior Education Officer (SEO) grades will receive an 8 per cent salary adjustment – which amounts up to a $550 and $830 pay raise respectively in their gross monthly salaries.
Announcing its aim of attracting and developing a “quality school team”, MOE acknowledged that the job scopes of teachers have become “more demanding and complex” in the 21st century.
About 500 allied educators in various grades will also receive salary adjustments between 5 to 15 per cent, which is about up to $700 increment in their salaries.
The ministry said allied educators, who support teachers in the care and development of children in schools, are an “integral” part of the team in managing the counselling and special education needs of children.
Allied educators also help in counseling students as well as in supporting pastoral care and Co-curricular programmes.
Just on Thursday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said his government would look into improving the education requirements of special needs students during a tea session with bloggers.
Weng Fai, a physical education teacher at Cedar Girls’ Secondary School, welcomed the news.
“It came unexpected, and most of us are quite happy over it,” he told Yahoo! Singapore.
Another education officer who preferred to remain anonymous was also thankful for the increment and said it was timely.
“Personally I think that in light of the inflation rate and the high cost of living, this might be more to balance out whatever we’ve been lacking to help out in our situation – especially in the public sector.”
However, others said pre-school educators also deserved a raise.
Facebook user Bunga Berduri asked, “What about the early childhood educators? We educate the children from zero knowledge till they graduate with all information and knowledge beyond their age. We are the people behind the pillars… Where do we actually stand here? Where’s our surprise gift as the first educators besides the parent?”