Singapore ranks 7th out of 21 countries in study examining teachers' status

A teacher helping Primary 3 pupils of Xinmin Primary School. Singapore came in 7th out of 21 countries in the 2013 Global Teacher Status Index, with an index ranking of 46.3 out of 100. -- ST FILE PHOTO : KUA CHEE SIONG  
A teacher helping Primary 3 pupils of Xinmin Primary School. Singapore came in 7th out of 21 countries in the 2013 Global Teacher Status Index, with an index ranking of 46.3 out of 100. -- ST FILE PHOTO : KUA CHEE SIONG  

Singapore came in 7th out of 21 countries in the 2013 Global Teacher Status Index, with an index ranking of 46.3 out of 100. It surpassed other established countries such as Finland, United States and Japan. China came out tops.

The Varkey GEMS Foundation's survey is the first-ever comparative study which examines teacher status and attitudes. It covered 1,000 respondents in each of the countries surveyed and looked at the status and perception of teachers in each country. Respondents were asked to rank 14 occupations in order of how much they respected them. 

Rank Country Index Average teacher salary*
1 China 100 US$17,730
2 Greece 73.7 US$23,341
3 Turkey 68.0 US$25,378
4 South Korea 62.0 US$43,874
5 New Zealand 54.0 US$28,438
6 Egypt 49.3 US$10,604
7 Singapore 46.3 US$45,744
8 Netherlands 40.3 US$37,218
9 US 38.4 US$44,917
10 Britain 36.7 US$33,377
*Adjusted for purchasing power parity.
Global Teacher Status Index 2013

Singapore ranked third, behind Finland and Switzerland, in the confidence and trust of its own national education system and quality. Over 45 per cent of the respondents in Singapore also believe students have respect for teachers. This is a much higher figure compared to the United States or any European country.

In terms of perception of how much teachers should be remunerated, respondents in Singapore believed the fair wage for a teacher should be 14 per cent lower than their current wage. The full report can be found here.