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'48 hours? It's longer than that’, say teachers

Teachers here say OECD survey does not reflect their work week

Published on Jun 27, 2014 6:28 AM
 
The OECD survey found that teachers here spent almost twice the amount of time on marking and administrative work than their peers overseas. Singapore teachers The Straits Times spoke to cited large class sizes - 36 students compared with the global average of 24 - as a reason for this. -- ST FILE PHOTO

Teachers in Singapore have criticised an international survey which found that they clock an average of 48 hours a week, saying they put in at least that amount.

The Straits Times spoke to 10 teachers, all of whom said the findings of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) - a Paris-based group of developed or developing countries - did not accurately reflect their typical day.

They said schooldays start as early as 6am and end 10 to 12 hours later - meaning at least 50 working hours a week.

Most of this time is spent teaching while the extra hours are filled with marking and necessary administrative work, including organising school activities.

 
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Background story

How teachers spend their time:

ON THE JOB

ELSEWHERE: 38 hours a week

IN SINGAPORE: 48 hours a week

ADMIN WORK

ELSEWHERE: 3 hours

IN SINGAPORE: 5 hours

MARKING

ELSEWHERE: 5 hours

IN SINGAPORE: 9 hours


Administrative duties of teachers

  • Planning school events such as camps, overseas trips, excursions and concerts.
  • Liaising with external vendors and conducting reviews of events.
  • Taking charge of co-curricular activities, such as accompanying students for competitions.
  • Taking students' daily attendance records and generating reports.
  • Conducting risk assessments of students' outdoor activities.
  • Tracking students' progress, including their academic grades and other areas of development.
  • Communicating with parents and superiors.
  • Handling paperwork.

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