Parents who are late to pick up their children – even by five minutes – are fined by PAP kindergartens. In a letter to parents, the PAP Community Foundation (PCF) told mums and dads that they will face a penalty charge if they are late in ‘fetching’ their children (see letter below).
There’s even a fine chart stating the rates: late by 5 minutes, pay $2. The fine increases by $2 for every subsequent 5 minutes. That’s even higher that private car-parks (not to mention the ERP).
The SDP also understands that children are disallowed into the classroom because their parents cannot pay the school fees. In fact some of them are suspended when parents fail to pay the fees after reminders are sent.
This raises some interesting questions:
- Should the PCF be allowed to levy fines on parents for being late? If they are, what should the fines be? Is the present rate of $2 per 5 minutes fair?
- Should pre-schoolers be suspended from school when their parents don’t pay their fees on time? Note that many of these families come from the lower-income group and cannot aford to send their children to private kindergartens.
- More generally, should the PAP, a political party, continue to have a monopoly on “low cost” (as stated in the PCF website) kindergartens? Or should there be kindergartens supported by the state through the Ministry of Education?