An internet day is worth a hundred real world days. Remember the kid at My First Skool? Yeah, the news feels so old already doesn’t it?
But I read recently, the childcare centre has had its licence tenure cut to six months (from 24 months) by the Social and Family Development Ministry. This means the centre will have to comply with certain conditions before its licence can be renewed. Reasons cited were that investigations by the Social and Family Development Ministry and the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) have found that some areas were inadequate.
This I feel is trying to crack a nut with a sledgehammer – so far, My First Skool has had no problems and was functioning safely for since time memorial. So why now? Is this another one of those Government knee-jerk reactions?
Would this be fair to MFS and other operators? Would this cause a teaching equivalent of “self censorship”? That they would let the little tikes get what they want? To sacrifice discipline rather than their jobs?
Don’t get me wrong – abuse is abuse and there are no two ways about it. What I’m driving at is: are we building unnecessary barriers at the work we do?
Already My First Skool has also set up an independent review panel for reported cases of injury, accident, or mishandling to encourage parents to reach out to My First Skool principals with their concerns. They have a commitment to improve and the pursual of profit and the onslaught of competitors would mean they would naturally be compelled to improve security and build trust.
So while I’m just as shocked as the next person by the little boy’s injuries, I think Minister Chan’s endorsement of the Ministry’s move may be a little too harsh and encourage unhealthy self-censorship of actions in the future.