'Very few' cases of parents harassing or abusing teachers: Ong Ye Kung

Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung. (Getty Images file photo)

SINGAPORE — There are “very few” cases where parents harass or abuse teachers in Singapore, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung in a written reply to a parliamentary question.

Ong was responding to the question from Workers' Party Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leon Perera on Monday (8 July).

Perera had asked about the number of such cases occurring yearly from 2015 to last year as well as the current measures to ensure that teachers have a safe working environment and to allow affected teachers access to channels to seek counselling and redress.

Ong noted that parents in Singapore are supportive of schools and work well with our teachers.

“Teachers and school leaders are expected to accord appropriate respect and courtesy to parents when engaging them, and Minister for Education (MOE) expects the same from parents in their interactions with our educators,” he said.

The ministry had developed and shared the Guidelines for School-Home Partnership with parents on fostering positive school-home partnerships at the start of this year, he added.

“This is in recognition of the need for parents and teachers to work closely together to support the children’s holistic development,” said Ong, adding that parents have been supportive of them.

On “rare occasions” when parents use abusive words or threaten teachers, teachers can inform their school leaders or the ministry, who will follow up with the parents, added Ong.

“Where a teacher’s safety is threatened, the MOE and the school will support the teacher in making a police report. Counselling support from the MOE will also be extended to the affected teachers where required,” he said.

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