Date: 11 September 2019, 15:00, READ:
The teaching load norms of teachers have changed in Azerbaijan. In this regard, the Cabinet of Ministers has made amendments to its decision on determining the teaching load of educators, Trend reports. Prior to the amendments, the weekly teaching load in schools was set at 12 hours. Now, the rate for the weekly teaching load of educators at public secondary schools, gymnasiums and lycées, vocational schools and lycées has been raised to 18 hours, 12 hours for educators at sports and art schools, and out-of-school learning. The decision comes into force on September 15. We asked experts on how classroom hours and teacher salaries will be affected in the new phase and the significance of these changes.
According to education expert Nadir Israfilov, throughout the years there have been different approaches to changing the teaching load of teachers and determinig their pay. "During the Soviet era, the weekly teaching load of teachers was set at 18 hours a week. Due to teacher shortage in the regions and remote areas, some teachers even worked double the amount of this rate. Later on, the rate of weekly teaching load was reduced to 12 hours. The new amendments mean, the weekly teaching load was previously set at 12 hours but now the rate for the weekly teaching load at public secondary schools, gymnasiums and lycées, vocational schools and lycées is raised to 18 hours, 12 hours for educators of sports and art schools, and out-of-school learning. The part which excluded public secondary and vocational school teachers who participated in the diagnostic assessment process, was removed. This may be considered normal and it cannot be argued that it may have any adverse effect on the quality of education,” the expert noted.
Education expert Kamran Asadov said that teachers who do not participate in the diagnostic assessment will receive less pay. "Firstly, I would like to note that there is a presidential decree issued in 2015 on increasing the teaching load and salaries of public secondary school teachers who participated in diagnostic assessment. When dividing the workload, the requirements of recent legislation and guidelines, as well as the diagnostic assessment results of teachers, are taken into account by school principals. During the workload breakdown, the weekly workload of the school teacher is set at 18 hours. If the vacant teaching load is less than 18 hours, these hours are divided firstly between the school’s qualified teachers. If there is no teacher for a certain subject and if the weekly classroom hours determined for the said subject is up to 18 hours, then school directors with the consent of the local educational management body and financial settlement center, can invite substitute teachers or teachers working by the hour to teach. However, there are teachers who have not participated in the assessment process of their knowledge and skills. These teachers have been recruited outside of the teacher recruitment process and their diplomas are not exemplary. The salary of these teachers was not increased in 2015 and their pay remained at the previous rate of 12 teaching hours per week of which they could teach up to 6 hours. The new rules raised their weekly workload from 12 to 18 hours but their teaching hours did not increase which significantly caused their salaries to decrease. Following the raise of the weekly workload to 18 hours, 490 manats is divided into teaching hours – a raise which is received by teachers recruited under the teacher recruitment program, who have participated in diagnostic assessment and those who have not, receive less pay. Teachers recruited outside of the teacher recruitment process and whose diplomas are not exemplary previously received 80-90 manats but now will receive even less pay. These teachers failing to have the mentioned qualifications receive around 8-9 manats per classroom hour.
According to the expert, results showed during teachers' quality assessment is taken into consideration when breaking down classroom hours. This means teachers with higher results receive more classroom hours which, in turn, increases their pay. "After this raise, 8,965 teachers’ salary amounted to 500-1,000 manats and 476 teachers’ salary was over 1,000 manats in Baku. As a result of this reform, the average teacher salary was 465 manats, nearing the national average. The salary of teachers was rasied by 77-99 manats on average. Teachers working the new weekly workload who have up to 3 years of experience receive a monthly paycheck of 462 manats and those with experience of over 18 years receive 594 manats,” he said.