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Shortage of parking lots in schools causes unhappiness among teachers, MOE steps in




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As the new rule requiring teachers to pay for parking in school premises kicked in on 1 August, a new problem has emerged – there aren’t enough lots for all teachers.

This has led to unhappiness among staff members who drive, TODAY reported on Saturday.

Teachers are now required to apply for season parking in order to park in schools, but the lack of parking lots has led to schools having to hold balloting to determine who gets the lots. But with limited parking space, principals have to decide who gets the privilege of parking in schools.

Teachers now have to pay $720 annually for an unsheltered car lot, and $960 for a covered one.

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Before the Ministry of Education (MOE) ordered all schools to implement parking charges, teachers could park in undesignated lots. The rule change put an end to this, and some schools wrote to the authorities to allow them to use bus bays for teachers to park.

The MOE has granted this, but has told the schools that they have to retain “the marked bus parking lots to cater to incidental bus traffic, such as for events or field trips.”

The ministry also advised schools to “guide staff to park in available car parks nearby” where necessary.

One of the schools affected was Rosyth Primary School.

TODAY reported:

Rosyth Primary School was one of the schools that did so, as its teachers had to ballot for lots due to insufficient parking spaces.

Two teachers told TODAY that 41 were successful in the ballot exercise, while nine teachers did not get a lot. Its principal and one of the three vice-principals opted out of the ballot so that teachers could get the parking spaces instead.

“It was like primary one registration. Teachers who missed out (during the ballot) voiced their unhappiness,” said one Rosyth Primary teacher, who is in his 30s.

The new rules for teachers to pay for parking in schools also led to public outcry of double standards involving parking for Members of Parliament (MPs).

MPs get to park for free in ministries’ compounds, and in parliament. This, some said, goes against the government’s “clean wage” policy where no hidden perks are to be given.

Despite the public uproar, however, the government has remained silent and apparently the privilege of free parking still applies to MPs.

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