‘30 periods a week ruling for teachers not compulsory’

National 2 minutes, 26 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

IT IS not mandatory for teachers to put in 30 teaching periods a week, said the Minister of Education at the 12th legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday.

LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji A Ahmad Hussin brought to the table complaints by teachers affected by the regulation, especially in schools that are short of teachers.

He asked whether a study has been done on the possible impact of the regulation prior to its enforcement.

In response to the query, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Suyoi Haji Osman said that the regulation was not introduced recently.

“The requirement was introduced in 1997 in a memorandum outlining the instruction for all teachers to teach 28 periods a week. In the memorandum, Art teachers were required to do 30 periods a week,” he said.

According to a study done by the ministry, it was found that the work load of Bruneian teachers was relatively less compared to teachers in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore.

When a study was conducted in the final quarter of 2015, it was found that 27.4 per cent of primary school teachers and 12.1 per cent secondary school teachers taught more than 30 periods a week.

However, the numbers have decreased with latest findings from a similar study in February this year showing only 9.3 per cent of primary school teachers and 12.1 per cent of secondary teachers putting in more than 30 periods a week.

He said that the current practice at schools is that teachers taking 30 or more teaching periods will have their non-teaching responsibilities reduced.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi said the ministry and the Department of Schools are lenient on the 30 teaching periods requirement.

“Teachers who feel overburdened by having to undertake 30 periods a week on top other responsibilities may come forward and discuss with their principals as this is seen as an administrative matter,” he said.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, the education minister said that the 30 teaching period regulation is not mandatory for teachers as it is up to their respective schools to allocate the periods.

He said that the number of periods undertaken by a teacher should take into consideration the responsibility of the teacher as well as the subjects they teach.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi said that if the subject that the teacher is teaching is mathematics and they do not have enough teachers to teach the particular subject, the number of teaching periods the mathematics teacher should take can be reconsidered.

He said that the ministry has received complaints from teachers about the 30 teaching periods, and added that the ministry is making adjustments on the matter.

The education minister said teachers who find the regulation burdensome or affecting their quality of teaching can have their periods reduced.

“This is the short-term plan at the moment (but) in the long-term, we will probably send more teachers to the respective schools to help lessen the burden.”

The Brunei Times