We fully agree with Mr Ho Kong Loon (Do more to reduce teachers' workload, June 27) that the welfare of teachers must always be prioritised.
The findings he refers to are from the Teaching and Learning International Survey 2018, a self-reporting global survey from the perspective of teachers.
In it, Singapore teachers reported a two-hour reduction in their workload, compared to what was reported in the 2013 survey, attributed in part to a decrease in time spent on administrative work.
While there has been an improvement, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will continue to look for ways to better support our teachers' work-life needs.
As part of these efforts, MOE put in place the Teacher Work Management Framework (TWMF) a number of years ago to guide schools in managing teachers' workload, ensure that teachers have sufficient rest, and ensure that teachers are able to spend time with their families.
Some TWMF measures include offloading certain administrative duties, implementing a five-day work week, and entrenching protected vacation time.
We also regularly review our manpower deployment to ensure that every school is adequately resourced.
Over the years, teacher workload has also been eased with enhancements in centralised administrative support to schools and the use of technology to streamline processes.
For example, to reduce the administrative load, teachers can now monitor and track students' attendance using mobile phones.
In addition, with the Singapore Student Learning Space online learning portal, teachers can use data generated from the work students do in the portal to quickly assess gaps in understanding. This can help to reduce their marking load.
Besides these measures, we proactively gather feedback on teachers' well-being to see how we can better support them.
Teachers can also attend workshops on self-care and seek the help of in-house counsellors for confidential in-depth consultations to manage their emotional well-being.
We recognise that teaching is a demanding career, and we are heartened to have a committed teaching force who voluntarily go beyond the call of duty to deliver the best holistic educational experience for our students.
Teachers are the core of the education service, and it is our continuing desire to create a supportive and sustainable work environment for all our educators.
Chua-Lim Yen Ching
Academy of Singapore Teachers
Ministry of Education