SINGAPORE - Singapore teachers have the second-longest working hours in the world, but they are satisfied with their jobs.
This, among other findings conducted on 34 countries, were revealed yesterday in the Teaching and Learning International Survey (Talis) conducted last year by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
LONG WORKING HOURS
Singapore teachers work an average of 48 hours a week, which is 10 hours more than the Talis average.
About 70 per cent of their time is spent on teaching-related activities such as planning lessons and marking. The rest is spent on other work such as counselling, co-curricular activities (CCAs) and administration.
Mrs Marion Tan, principal of St Margaret's Secondary School, said a teacher's job involves not just teaching but also connecting with students and facilitating their learning and development.
She said: "Our teachers are aware of this and they have joined the profession prepared to put in the additional hours if it means time well spent to help the students."
Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education Lim Biow Chuan said he would prefer a reduced curriculum and less administrative tasks so that teachers can have work-life balance.
The Ministry of Education said it has taken steps to ease the administrative duties of teachers and will continue to monitor their workload.
The survey also shows that more than 80 per cent of our teachers are satisfied with their job and would choose to be a teacher if they were to decide again.
Mrs Lucy Toh, principal of St Andrew's Secondary School, pointed out that one of the unique qualities of Singapore's education system is the CCAs, which could be a reason for the increased workload, but it leads to job satisfaction.
She said: "At St Andrew's, teachers are matched to CCAs according to their interests or talents as far as possible. As a result, teachers are passionate about their CCAs and derive a big part of their job satisfaction from their CCAs."