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Despite longer hours, teachers here say they're satisfied: Survey

Teachers here work 10 hours more than the global average, but satisfaction levels are on par with counterparts elsewhere, the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2013 conducted by OECD finds.

SINGAPORE: Despite working longer hours than their counterparts in other countries, teachers here say they are "very satisfied" with their jobs, according to a survey - involving teachers and principals from 34 countries - conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

READ: Teachers in Singapore are the youngest, but among the best-trained worldwide: Survey

The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2013 found that teachers in Singapore work an average of 48 hours a week - 10 hours longer than the global average.

Of their time at work, 17 hours a week are spent teaching, about two hours less than teachers elsewhere, according to the 3,109 lower secondary school teachers and 144 principals from 159 schools in Singapore who responded to the survey, the findings of which were announced on Wednesday (June 25).

However, they spend eight hours a week on planning their lessons, nine hours marking, and five hours on administrative duties - relatively higher than the global averages seven, five and three hours, respectively.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said it has made efforts over the years to ease teachers' administrative duties and support them in various functions so that they can focus more on teaching and learning.

"We will continue to support our teachers through providing them the kind of training, the kind of professional development that will equip them to do their work better. We hope to be able to support them through providing them more support in terms of allied educators, in terms of providing them work life balance through proper use of their teaching hours," said MOE Deputy Director-General of Education (Curriculum) Wong Siew Hoong.


Despite the long hours, most teachers in Singapore report high levels of job satisfaction.

About 68 per cent of those surveyed - well above the double the global average of 31 per cent - believe that the teaching profession is respected and valued in society.

The 88 per cent who said they are satisfied with their job is in line with the 91 per cent global average, TALIS showed, while more than four in five (82 per cent) say they would still choose to be a teacher if they were able to make the decision again.

The survey, conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), covers more than 30 countries, and required about 106,000 teachers and other school leaders worldwide - largely in lower secondary education - to fill in paper or online questionnaires.

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