Friday, January 28, 2011

Working Hours... and teachers

These days we are constantly made to feel that we are not putting in enough work hours.... so I decided to do a count of it...

The number of hols minus the weekends totals 48 days... looks like we get a really good deal, right? We're getting a good 23 days more than other civil servants!
March -5 days
June - 10 days
Sept - 5 days
Nov to Dec - 28 days

I shall try to dissect it down to see whether it really benefits us...
  1. We are often reminded that we can be called back 1/3 of our hols. For those who have to invigilate or mark papers it often would mean more than 1/3 of the hols. Examiners are paid by scripts... which is not very much actually. Invigilators get pittance. If they invigilate it also means that they can't go anywhere till December. And last year, the last paper for my school ended on 20th December, which basically meant that whoever was unlucky enough to have to go back to invigilate had about a week of hols before the staff meeting.
  2. They say we work shorter hours. But these days it's not uncommon to hear of teachers staying till 3.30 p.m. That would mean that we'd have filled the 8 hour work day as we start work at 7.30 a.m. and get no lunch break like other civil servants. Teaching is unique in the sense that we have to go back for after school sports practise, usually after office hours. And teachers are sometimes involved in weekend camps for students. Teachers also take students for games, athletic meets and various competitions... and these often spill beyond the normal working hours.
  3. The LDP or Latihan Dalam Perkhidmatan, essentially like many other plans, has noble intentions. The Education Department says that the school has a right to call us back for 2 Saturdays a month.... which kinda puts us alongside the critical services like the medical services, armed forces, police but not with their kind of allowance. My school has slated 8 Saturdays this year. That effectively would bring the total extra to just 15 days.
  4. Next, extra classes... teachers are 'forced', 'coerced' and threatened to carry out extra classes throughout the year, including during term break. Some schools even carry out night classes... some are 'compensated' but many expect us to do it as kebajikan. Let's say that involves just 3 days (usually it's more) of the term breaks.... since there are only 3 term breaks that counts. Now we're left with 12 days.
  5. Other duties... I know of other teachers who go back to school on their own during the break. I know I do. I usually go back to clear up after the SPM exam and perhaps once or twice while the exam is on. That would leave me with 9 extra days.
  6. 9 extra days... what else? Many teachers very often need to bring back work... books to grade especially. Try as much as I can to leave my work at the school gate, I still find myself spending time looking for materials, preparing lessons and doing the paperwork. I think the total spent on those can exceed the balance of 9 days.
  7. Oh ya! Some might argue that we get 7 days of CRK... which can be accumulated for the golden handshake thing. In 2008, the government announced shorter annual leave in lieu of a bigger golden handshake, from 120 days to 150 days. The annual leave was cut to 25 days... in line with the civil service in the US and many other countries... from what I gathered. But the thing is, many of us will find it difficult to get our maximum golden handshake... kids fall sick, family emergencies crop up and we often use up our precious 7 days CRK (Cuti Rehat Khas) on them. You need 22 years of not taking any days of your CRK to hit the maximum 150 days!
So teachers get many off days?? The only perk that I enjoy out of it is I get home earlier, provided I don't have to go school for sports practice. But as for other things, we pay premium for our holidays, we have to bersesak-sesak with the crowd, cos always, our hols must be taken during the peak season.

What I think most of us would like is probably to be left alone on our weekends.... the quality of LDP leaves much to be desired. It's basically a time when we are herded to listen to ramblings.... rarely do I get speakers who can really engage me.

Going through this, I sometimes think the 25-day annual leave, leave to apply as you want might be a better deal for us... but then again if they allow that, then what would happen if we apply all our leave on school days? Hence there should be some give and take here.... my wish is for the people up there to be more practical and reasonable and not be so demanding in determining the hours... cos whatever it is, for many, our teaching periods extend up to 2.50 p.m. even without the extras. And if they make it mandatory for teachers to leave only at 3.30 p.m. then we'd have to sit down and count all those extra hours too....

8 comments:

SM Ting said...

if u work in a kiasu sch like mine; u work round the clock. Told my gal that i might as well camp in sch. My KRS ss and choral speakers are practising 4 days a week and half of the march hol. I am the tchr in charge...job delegated but still nd to keep an eye. We work like dogs n treated like dogs too.

but smile!!! I'm on holiday now!!

AJ7 said...

Luckily I'm not kiasu... LOL! What is beyond, I let go....

I'm still not on holiday. My HM refuses to take even one day off for Wednesday!!! Go figure what kind of fler she is... She rather the students write letters to be excused. There're 36 Chinese students if I'm not wrong, out of about 700++ students and we're not taking even Cuti Peristiwa. But we're taking Cuti Peristiwa for Deepavali... and we only have 3 Indian students cos the Majlis Guru is supposed to plan a trip to Hadyai during that weekend!!!!

Anyway, Happy Holidays!!! Going back???

daboss said...

kakaka... you want to compare with the hours that i put in? :o)

some of the guys we both know work nights and weekends perpetually... :o)

AJ7 said...

Daboss : And what kind of $$$ do you guys draw in??? We draw pittance-lah compared to you.

PreciousPearl said...

wow. if only I had to work only 8 hrs a day...

AJ7 said...

PP... we're all dogs, like SM said, just that you are more doggy than me. LOL!

PreciousPearl said...

woof!
lol

All things beautiful said...

One day in a year to appreciate us (Teacher's Day) and they also want to make a monkey of us... Give us the day off, now that would be much appreciated.