Although the starting pay of teachers is now at an attractive $3,010 for graduates and $1,580 for non-graduates, there is much to be said for the wage progression thereafter.
Even Labour MP Zainal Sapari, who was an educator for 20 years, pointed this out in 2014 when he asked MOE for the percentage of principals, VP and heads of departments who are being paid according to their appointment.
And those who are underpaid even after 5 years of holding that appointment.
There was no answer from MOE, which felt it was not “useful to give the figures”.
Helloooo….. If the top educators aren’t even paid fairly, what about the others down the pay scale?
I remember one friend (who taught in a Primary School) feeling upset over getting a pay raise of $70 a year, when he put in so much effort to be a good teacher. He eventually left to join a private tuition centre.
2. Teachers have too many CCAs.
It is simply not enough to teach two or three subjects, but also think of ways to occupy the students in CCAs which some teachers have no clue about, other than the fact they were arrowed to do it.
3. Teachers want to teach, not brainwash.
Someone pointed out that using the word “mould” in MOE’s favourite slogan is a terrible way to express the actual work that teachers do!
Teachers don’t mould students to fit set expectations (aka brainwash), but empower these young minds to figure out how to reach their full potential.
Not to mention the whitewashed and simplified curriculum that teachers have to convince students is the truth of the world.
4. Disincentives to teach.
Who has the time to go the extra mile to teach students when you have to sign FIVE administrative forms to obtain one measly whiteboard marker (said a Primary School teacher from Bukit Batok area), take stacks of homework home to mark over the weekend because you had too much admin work to settle at school, and being arrowed to think of creative ways to show how your school one-ups the others?
5. Tuition teachers get better pay and better work-life balance.
In a system that has much improvement to make to ensure teachers’ contributions are accurately valued, it isn’t surprising that many teachers leave soon after their bond ends, usually to the lucrative private tuition industry where you decide your subjects, hours, rates, locations and even how much homework to give.
When you see parents willing to fork out hundreds per month to tutors who can earn $10,000 a month, yet bitch about teachers accidentally giving 1 mark less to their child when they only pay peanuts for public education, the upside of leaving MOE is so much sweeter.
There are many more reasons why teachers are pissed off, and you can read more here.