More regulated staff system proposed for private schools

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Issue 511, Pag 6
Word count: 592
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The draft regarding the teaching staff system in private schools to be put for the final round of public consultation was yesterday disclosed in which lesser teaching hours and overtime payments were proposed.

In addition, tougher entry qualifications were suggested for new teaching staff but those who are already working in schools before the administrative regulation is in effect will be exempted from the changes, according to the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) yesterday.

The framework outlining the teaching staff system in private schools will cover both full time teachers and mid to high level management staff such as principals who work no less than 36 hours a week, Wong Kin Mou, the head of the educational research and resources department said.

According to Mr Wong, the hours required for teachers to give classes every week were “significantly reduced” in the latest draft following the first round of public consultation that collected 1,346 opinions.

It was proposed that teachers in private high schools could give a maximum 16 to 18 classes a week with each class lasting for 35 to 45 minutes.

Primary school teachers could give 19 to 20 classes, also at duration of 35 to 45 minutes per class.

As for kindergartens, teachers could give up to 20 to 22 classes with each class lasting for 25 to 40 minutes; whilst special school teachers are allowed to give 19 to 20 classes at duration of 30 to 40 minutes per class.

Mr Wong said once the teaching hours were over the limits, teachers should be paid extra accordingly as proposed by the DSEJ in the framework.

On the other hand, six promotion levels were proposed instead of the eight in the first draft. Thus, the entry qualifications would change correspondingly, Mr Wong said.

Newly recruited teachers having post college qualifications would enter the lowest level of the sixth, whilst bachelor degree holders or those who have received teaching training could start from the fifth level.

However, Mr Wong said current in-service teachers could continue their positions even if their education qualifications did not reach the new requirements.

In addition, in order to attract resigned teachers to return to the education field, their years of experience before leaving the posts would remain to be recognised and they could start on the same staff level which they were on previously without beginning from the bottom, Mr Wong said.

Meanwhile, the draft proposed different discrepancies in salaries between each of the six staff levels which should be set out independently by private schools.

However, it was required that salary for teachers on the first level must be at least double than that on the sixth level.

As well, the amount of direct subsidies for teaching staff would vary according to which level they were on.

Staff on the top level should receive 50 percent more allowance than those on the lowest level, Mr Wong said, whilst a 10 percent difference should be registered between each of the other levels.

The framework also regulated that teaching staff should be entitled to a minimum of 12 months of salary and no less than 20 days of annual leaves excluding Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays after serving for a full academic year.

A Chinese version of the draft can be viewed at Portuguese and English texts will be available at a later time.

Mr Wong said it was hoped that the proposal could be handed to the Executive Council as soon as possible so that it could be passed in the 2009/2010 academic year.


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