Parliamentary Replies

July 08, 2019

Harassment of teachers by parents

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Leon Perera, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (a) how many cases of parents harassing or abusing teachers have occurred yearly from 2015 to 2018; (b) what measures are in place to ensure that teachers have a safe working environment; and (c) what measures are in place to ensure that teachers who are harassed or abused have access to channels to seek counselling and redress.

Response

1. Parents in Singapore are supportive of our schools and work well with our teachers. We have very few cases of harassment or abuse by parents.

2. Teachers and School Leaders are expected to accord appropriate respect and courtesy to parents when engaging them, and MOE expects the same from parents in their interactions with our educators. At the start of 2019, MOE developed and shared the Guidelines for School-Home Partnership with parents on fostering positive school-home partnerships. This is in recognition of the need for parents and teachers to work closely together to support the children’s holistic development. The guidelines also provide greater consistency of practice within and across schools. Parents have been supportive of these guidelines.

3. On rare occasions when parents use abusive words or threaten teachers, they can inform their School Leaders or MOE, who will follow up with the parents. Where a teacher’s safety is threatened, MOE and the school will support the teacher in making a police report. Counselling support from MOE will also be extended to the affected teachers where required.