Half of Latvia's teachers are constantly overloaded, survey shows

A study 'Teachers' Voice' conducted by education enterprise Lielvārds shows that only 17% of Latvia's teachers work a normal load (33 to 40 hours a week), according to the results presented May 11.

The survey was carried out in October 2021 and 1,400 teachers from across Latvia participated.

48% of the teachers are regularly overloaded, working over 40 hours a week. 12% of them work 57 hours a week or more. The majority, or 60% of teachers, say they lack time to perform their work duties at a high quality. Only 3% say this happens very rarely or never.

"Every tenth, or 12%, works 57 hours and more. This means that we have to ask the question – how long can this load be sustained?” said the researcher Andris Gribusts, head of Lielvārds.

Long working hours likely leave an impact on the quality of education. Principal of Sigulda State Gymnasium Rūdolfs Kalvāns also said that the load is rarely normal. 

“Our teachers are working to earn. Possibly even earn a lot, but they work very much. It's that correlation. Consequently, the issue of teacher load is still ongoing,” he said.

One in three teachers (33%) frequently feels demotivated in their job, according to the survey. 25% of the teachers say they often lack confidence in their abilities.

Just over half of the teachers agree that they see themselves in the same job in five years' time (56%). The same percentage say they have very rarely or never looked at other jobs. 19% of teachers say they do not see themselves in that job in five yeas, and 13% say they often look at other job opportunities.

Around half of the teachers (54%), if given the choice of a career path, would still choose teaching. 22% said they would not be a teacher again, whereas 24% were neutral or could not answer.

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