Nearly a third of Latvian teachers plan to leave job, survey shows

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A survey "Teachers' voice" on how teachers feel and see themselves in the profession has been carried out in Latvia for the second time. The survey data, published on May 18, show that in 2022, the number of teachers who do not feel good in their job and are planning to leave has risen significantly.

In the 2021 study, 56% of the respondents saw themselves in the teaching profession after five years. In 2022, it was only 40% of teachers. 

The study also highlights a number of new challenges for teachers, indicating that adjustment of one single factor, such as remuneration, would not lead to significant changes.

Teachers want to be financially equivalent to a large proportion of highly qualified private-sector workers, and a third (29%) of respondents say that pay should be between €1,600 and €1,800.

Compared to the previous period, the number of demotivated teachers increased by 15%; from 33% to 48%. In addition, a large percentage (70%) of respondents say that the current load is too high to do the job qualitatively. 

The number of teachers who believe that the prestige of the profession in society has increased in the last five years has decreased twice. If 11% of teachers surveyed agreed to this statement in the 2021 survey, then they are only 5% in the 2022 survey.

During the year, the number of teachers who often or always doubt their strength has increased from 25% to 38%.

18% say that the biggest demotivation is related to pupils' attitudes to learning, while another 10% say that pupils' parents' attitudes about the learning process are demotivating. 

One of the most important reasons why teachers are not motivated to work is the lack of teaching resources (identified by 41% of teachers surveyed), which, according to teachers, is a more significant factor in the low pay (indicated by 39% of those surveyed) and the overload (indicated by 33%). In order to ensure that the new learning content and approach are implemented, the funding currently available for new learning resources is insufficient, so changes in practice fully depend on the ability of the teacher to find or create the necessary learning resources.

In 2021, about 60% of teachers indicated they lacked time to do the job at the desired quality, but the latest study data shows that this number has declined slightly — now it is 55% of the teachers surveyed.

The study's data show that the number of teachers who are confident they will leave the profession in five years has increased from 16% in the previous study period to 28% in the 2022 study.

There has also been a 9% increase in the number of teachers who have searched very frequently or frequently for job opportunities outside the education area over the last year.

The survey was carried out in October 2022 by the education company Lielvārds and research platform Edurio, involving 967 teachers from across Latvia.

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