This blog is managed by Song Hock Chye, author of Improve Your Thinking Skills in Maths (P1-P3 series), which is published and distributed by EPH.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Another Article on Teachers' Pay

From the Forum Section of the Straits Times, dated 4 Jan 2008

The writer is of the opinion that pay tied to performance for teachers is not a good idea.

There's a reason it's called 'public service'

Excerpts -

"Public service requires a different aptitude, ethos and capacity, and emphasises empathy, altruism, selflessness and a strong sense of purpose in contributing to the community. It carries with it a heavy emotional investment, often difficult to quantify in monetary terms. The strongest motivation for such an endeavour would be to affect positively the next generation by being role models, and to improve significantly the condition of others, or society as a whole.

Public service includes the sectors of education, health care, social services and the civil service. Monetary rewards rank (or should rank) low, and often departures from public service have more to do with disenfranchisement, disillusionment and low trust environments, where individual contributions are not valued or individuals do not feel invested in the overall direction or purpose of the organisation.

In other words, poor motivation and poor work dynamics, distinct from pay, may be a more critical root cause to address.

In the private sector, a completely different set of circumstances is at play. In a free market economy, competitive salaries and performance-linked bonuses rank high in the decision-making process of job selection, and in motivating profitable behaviours.

An overemphasis on salary incentives to attract or retain talent in public service may, in the long run, be detrimental to motivating the right behaviours, or worse, attracting people not suited for public service."


Related Articles:
Teachers' pay to be pegged closer to performance
Performance-linked pay more harm than good

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