PARENTS overreacting to complaints by the child and rushing to school to confront his or her teacher, sometimes physically, is no laughing matter.
To offer them a better approach, the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) plans to draw up guidelines for a Code of Ethics.
Newly-elected NUTP president, Kamarozaman Abd Razak, who assumed his new role at an exco meeting last Saturday said: “With the code of ethics, parents will have to follow a standard operating procedure, such as setting up a meeting with the principal, instead of going directly to a teacher to voice their complaints.”
Kamarozaman clarified that this move is not designed to persecute parents, but to protect teachers.
It will also ensure that parents take a more disciplined approach to solve an issue they are unhappy about. That, in turn, will set a good example for their children and other students.
“There are various codes of ethics for teachers, but none for parents. But these codes exist in other countries, so we can use them as a guideline to deter parents from taking things into their own hands,” he said.
The idea for a set of guidelines for parents was proposed by NUTP to the government three weeks ago at a meeting between both parties.
“I understand why they want to do this, as parents these days can be quite a handful,” said a mother of three, Ellen Kiong. “But I also want to know what the guidelines entail.”
Kiong said she had seen parents getting upset with teachers when their kids fall and scrape a knee during playtime in school.
Another mother of three, Sagayah Mary Puttagunta, said: “I don’t think we need a Code of Ethics. We’ll only be wasting paper!”
She elaborated that parents these days are more hands on and involved in their child’s school because there is a need to.
“We don’t get circulars from the government telling us about a new ruling, so we have to find out on our own,” she said.
Abdul Wahab Kadir, who has one school-going child, also does not support the idea for a Code of Ethics for parents.
“What are they going to put in it? Better still, how are they going to implement it?” he asked.
During the exco meeting, Chan Tai Chung took over the role of NUTP deputy president from Tey Meng Seng, who retired in February. Kamarozaman replaced Hashim Adnan, who retired on Sept 9.
Among the other initiatives NUTP would like to implement are to reduce the workload of teachers and introduce teacher assistants in schools.