(Disclaimer: Personal Opinions and Real-life Experiences)
[Slept and awoke - cooled down after sleeping over it. Yes, I may be judging. I may be opinionated but as a person with humanity and compassion, I cannot accept how it was reported and sort of explained about how it seemed the award was dedicated to someone who lacked the caring element in LIFE. To me, it still seems that the wrong value is being applauded. Apologies to those who find my words too strong. I made no change to them.]
I read with disgust how a teacher can leave his dying wife to accompany his students for an overseas competition and win an award - Caring Teacher.
Now, what sort of husband does that make him for not spending his wife's last few moments together with her? Is this the kind of care and concern MOE is promoting? Is this the kind of dedication to work being promoted by MOE? Leaving the dying wife to accompany the children for a competition? Does Northland Secondary School have the same stand?
Did the panel feel that this caring teacher is the man you want your son to grow up to be and the sort of man you want your daughter to marry? Does Mr. Yeong have children of his own? Is this the example he is going to set? Being rewarded for such dedication? Holding back tears as he dedicated the award to his wife? Tears of regret, terrible regret I would have.
I used to be a teacher at a local primary school. Teachers there were warned about not taking leave to celebrate child's birthday or not to take the entire day leave to attend a child's prize presentation. Teachers were asked, "How will your class pupils' parents feel if they know this is the reason the teacher applied leave for?" I am totally sure my class pupils' parents, as parents themselves will understand. Or when I took compassionate leave and the vice-principal asked me to make a decision there and then when will I be having my make up lessons. Are the principals and vice-principals modelling how a caring education officer (whether senior or general) should be like? What about simple things like having meetings beyond 5.30pm (more than 10 hours in school)? So what if it is the EXCO? Are the family members of those in the EXCO not as important as annual reports, etc?
What has happened to the MOE family life education programme? Did MOE train their teachers to become indispensable? So much so that Mr. Yeong WAS THE ONLY teacher who could accompany the children. What kind of values is MOE cascading down to our Principals and teachers and finally to the children? The children who might be the future Principals.
Vicious cycle, isn't it?