Proposed school hours not convenient

  • Letters
  • Saturday, 22 Feb 2003

I REFER to the letter, Children will be ‘wilted (The Star, Feb 18). 

I agree with almost every bit said by Concerned Parent except for one thing. Not all civil servants finish work at 4.30pm. 

Although, officially the working hours end at 4.40pm, some civil servants, including myself, continue to work well after 6pm. 

I usually leave home around 6pm and on the way home, I fetch my daughter who attends an afternoon school. I even send her to school around 1pm when I take my lunch break. 

I find this very convenient for my child and me.  

Now, imagine what happens when the school starts in the morning and finishes at 4.30pm. It may be impossible for most parents to pick up their children from school.  

They may have to send their little ones to school in a school bus. 

By the time the bus has dropped all the children and reaches my home, it will be about 5.30pm to 6pm. My child will be exhausted after the long school hours. 

Having to get up early the next morning, she will go to bed around 10pm, leaving hardly any time to play with her little brother or interact with me or her mother.  

Changing the schooling hours will cause many problems to parents, teachers and children. 

If one of the reasons for the change is to keep the children at school and preventing them from loitering at shopping complexes, then we are merely shifting the responsibility of the parents to the teachers. This is unfair to the teachers and the school. 

If another reason for a full-day school system is because it is successfully done in Britain, then we have to be aware that our climate is very different from theirs. 

Our climate is not suitable for working long hours without air-conditioning, and it may not be cost-effective to fix air-conditions in all the classrooms.  

Most parents send their children for tuition and other extra-curricular activities after school hours. This not only keeps the children occupied but also enables them to interact with adults and children of other ages.  

Any new changes need an in-depth study to understand the long-term implications. Everyone affected by the changes should be allowed to voice their views. 




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