BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – A guideline to lighten educators’ workload is in place to ensure the quality of education is uncompromised, according to the Minister of Education.

Speaking at the Legislative Council on Monday, Datin Hjh Romaizah Hj Md Salleh said that teachers who have been assigned administrative tasks are to teach fewer hours.

“The ministry has already provided a guideline, to be implemented through school leaders, where teachers with administrative tasks only teach 10 to 16 periods a week, which is the equivalent of five to eight hours weekly,” said the education minister.

“In addition, the ministry has also implemented the INOT initiative, which determines the ideal number of teachers in a school. It also ensures the best number of teachers for each school so they may be tasked with an appropriate workload and duties,” she added.

The minister was responding to a question raised by Tutong representative, Hj Mohammad Danial @ Tekpin Ya’akub, who raised a question regarding a teaching shortage.

“Teachers, who already have packed teaching schedules, are being overburdened with administrative duties, including managing school equipment and logistics. This could affect teachers’ capacity to provide a quality education,” said the Hj Danial, adding that non-teaching roles should be tasked to support staff instead.

Social media posts from teachers discontent with their workload were brought up by Hjh Safiah Sheikh Hj Abdul Salam, noting that teachers tend to shy away from using official platforms provided by the ministry.

“According to the ministry, the official channels only received 34 complaints in the past year compared to the numerous posts that we have seen spread across various social media platforms,” said the LegCo representative.

She expressed that teachers were wary of official complaint channels, concerned over a lack of confidentiality and that filing grievances would affect their career development.

In response, the education minister urged educators to utilise the available channels and asked for their trust.

“It is the ministry’s hope that our teachers will use these available official platforms. We seek their trust and confidence that all their grievances are taken into consideration and that the officers manning these platforms are qualified to ensure confidentiality,” said the minister.