SOAP BOX: What's the need for Pupil-Free Day?

THANKS to pupil-free day, hubby had to take a day's unpaid leave.

The timing couldn't be worse. We have a few extra bills coming up.

And unlike teachers, neither of us are on the pay package of around $90,000 for experienced state school teachers.

Even the $60,000 for graduate teachers doesn't seem too unattractive.

We also don't get about 10 weeks paid leave a year.

So, hell yes, I'm cranky.

I agree teachers do an excellent job, particularly those stuck with my three kids, but do they really need to have professional development during the school term?

Why can't this be fitted in, in the first week of the long school holidays, when they are still in the classroom?

Or the week before the start of the year?

I'd never heard of pupil-free day until arriving in Australia and I thought it was something only private schools did.

When I found out on Friday none of my kids could go to school on Monday, we had to make last-minute plans.

South Africa may be "third world" in some areas, but somehow teachers seemed to fit their teaching in so that it didn't require extra time off.

I wonder if other countries have it, too (let me know if they do).

We also didn't have the number of public holidays we enjoy in Australia.

Many homes now have two working parents and another holiday for kids simply means an absolute headache for adults.

Surely there is a better solution?

Topics:  editors picks kathy sundstrom opinion pupil free day soapbox

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