Teachers and their workload.

The government knows that not many people wants to be teachers. People who want to teach are also put off by the heavy workload. Thus the government wants to have newer policies like raising pay to attract more people to join the workforce. But is the pay the only concern? I guess not.

Five-day work week? Not for his teacher wife

EVEN though the Singapore Government has been advocating a five-day work week, especially in the Civil Service, it remains to be seen whether it is being implemented on the ground.

My wife, a primary-school teacher, has to go back for school-related matters on many Saturdays. I understand that most teachers need to go back to school on Saturday for major school activities (about four Saturdays a year). Besides these, my wife has five or six Saturdays burnt because of Co-Curricular Activities (CCA). So, in total, there are nine or 10 Saturdays burnt in a year.

It is even more infuriating when she can’t claim time off and travel expenses on the Saturdays she spent on CCA.

In addition to her CCA involvement on Saturdays, she has CCA on a normal weekday afternoon. So, at times, she may be involved in CCA twice a week. Thus she ends up having to prepare for the coming week’s lessons on Sunday.

I do not understand how we are going to contribute to the nation’s birth rate if she is so stressed out.

People often comment that she spends more time with her pupils than with our children.

It makes me wonder why the five-day work week was implemented in the first place.

Nah Yong Hwee

Teachers are working past 5 days. That’s ok since in the past CCAs are all on Saturdays. However, since CCAs was moved to the weekends, the writer says that his wife has to work on Sundays (at home) to prepare for lessons.

Another interesting point raised up by someone in the forum. I quote:

This issue is not new. It doesn’t alleviate the situation when most schools have made it compulsory to give 5% of their teachers D grades for their performance ranking at the end of every year. Under such a system, teachers feel pressured to outdo each other in terms of accepting more work, so as to avoid getting Ds for their performance ranking at the end of the year.

Compulsory to give 5% of their teachers D grades. Are we doing some bell curve now? If the teachers are good, but they are just not the best in the same institution, then they will receive a D grade as compared to a lousy teacher who is middle in ranking in a normal school who will more probably receive a B or C grade? Thats totally unfair isn’t it?

If the above is true, then teaching will only become more tiring and stressful. No matter how much money I am given, I will not choose teaching if I have to work so much. Come to think of it, teacher’s working hours are long too. They start school at 8 and most work till 6 to provide remedial lessons etc. One would have to really have a passion for teaching to join the workforce. Plus with the parents pampering their kids so much, teachers will only have a harder time. So thank your teachers this coming teachers day by behaving well for the entire year.

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