The Singaporean Ministry of Education has announced the introduction of parking charges for teachers at national schools and junior colleges from August . The move will bring in charges ranging from S$ 720 per year (€445) for uncovered parking lots to S$ 960 (€594) for covered parking lots. Motorcycle parking will also incur charges, ranging from S$ 123 (€76) to S$ 135 (€83).
The Ministry of Education has completed a 2-year review of parking charges, originally triggered by a statement from the Auditor-General in 2015 which disparaged the provision of free or below market-value charges for staff parking by some educational institutions. Such low or no fees were deemed to be equal to hidden subsidies to vehicle parking by the Auditor General. Based on these findings, a public debate on whether teachers should pay market-oriented parking charges began. By October 2017, major educational institutes such as the polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education had started to apply parking charges with monthly fees between S§ 80 (€49) and S$ 110 (€68).
Reaction to the plans have been mixed; some commentators point out that these fees are charged on a yearly basis which includes holidays, when the spaces are unlikely to be used - others have discussed the concept of a “clean wage policy” depending on whether teachers use the parking facilities, or not.
Following consultations with school leaders, the Ministry of Education proposes to charge parking fees on different levels so that monthly rates are higher at school term and lower during the holiday season. Additionally, the Ministry argues that parking charges are held the same for all schools regardless of their locations to reduce administrative burden of managing the parking charges.
Teachers who are visiting another school will be provided with free ad hoc parking - however this should be implemented carefully and not at the expense of staff paying for parking. Monitoring and enforcement of parking charges is to be poiced by the schools, themselves.
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Story first published by “TODAY online” on 26th of March 2018.