Where did the 18 working hours come from and how long does the teacher actually work?
Photo: Marcin Bielecki / PAP
– The only chance for education in Poland is to create a school that sees and accepts diversity. One that does not succumb to current politics. Meanwhile, I am afraid that in the coming years, changes in education will be based on the principle “my vision is better than yours” – says Dr. hab. Mikołaj Herbst. And he tells us how the educational ideas of Minister Przemysław Czarnek may end.
Teachers do not work 18 hours a week. The 18 hours that they are often reminded of is working time in the classroom at the blackboard. Each such hour – and therefore a school lesson – triggers a series of activities outside the school. And each additional class means more work at home: administrative tasks, correcting tests or preparing the next classes. In addition, teachers ‘overtime hours are not accounted for like any other employee, which disrupts the system and, as a result, leaves teachers’ pockets.
Where did the 18-hour work schedule even come from? – we asked dr. hab. Mikołaj Herbst, researcher of educational systems, economist working at the Center for European Regional and Local Studies at the University of Warsaw. We talk on the day that The deadline for submitting comments on Minister Czarnek’s proposal has passed on the pensum and on the eve teacher demonstration in the streets of Warsaw.
Justyna Suchecka: In the ministry of education they say: “Polish teachers have one of the lowest working levels in Europe” and they want to raise it. Is this a good direction?
Dr hab. Mikołaj Herbst: – I urge you to look at the teachers’ work as a whole, not only through the prism of the hours at the blackboard. The number of hours that teachers spend in a classroom working as a part-time minimum varies across Europe. And so in Poland it is quite low, one of the lowest in developed countries. But this does not mean that the working time of Polish teachers is the lowest. There is no reason to believe that Polish teachers work less than other teachers.
The problem is that the teachers’ week of work is filled with many other tasks besides the working hours. This is preparation for work, training, checking homework and tests, administrative duties, formalities, etc. When we look at all of this, it turns out that the average teacher works as much as the average office worker with a similar education.
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