Teachers learn to be hotel maids

WHILE her colleagues were enjoying their mid-year holidays, teacher Joey Koh sweated it out as a chambermaid at The Fullerton hotel last week.  

The primary school teacher changed bed sheets and cleaned toilets as part of her housekeeping duties. 

The 25-year-old was among 119 teachers on the Ministry of Education (MOE) work attachment programme during this mid-year school break. 

The scheme was launched in 2003, with 72 teachers.  

The work attachment programme is part of MOE's plan for teachers to gain experience outside the classroom so they can return with new skills to share with students.  

Koh's colleague, Noraidah Azman, 30, was also attached to the hotel.  

Both of them shadowed a full-time hotel employee and swapped duties midway through their six-day stint. 

The pair said they opted to work in the hotel as they wanted to try something they had never done before. 

Koh, who does not do any housework at home as she has a maid, went on all fours to wipe the handrails of the staircase outside the hotel, cleaned fingerprints from mirrors in the lifts and inspected freshly washed sheets for stains. 

Her Primary 5 pupils were shocked when she told them what her job scope would be. 

Koh, who took photos of her stint to share her experience with her class, said: “I must show them no job is too demeaning.” 

Noraidah said she became adept at folding napkins.  

Daniel Desbaillets, chief executive of Fullerton Hotels and Resorts, said the hotel benefits as teachers can share their knowledge of hotel work with students.  

“They will go away with a real perspective of working in a hotel, which involves a lot of commitment and teamwork and is not always glamorous as it is sometimes made out to be,” he said. –The Straits Times/ ANN 

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