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The demand for teachers in Sweden is on the rise but more teachers are leaving the sector - Why?

Wednesday, 01 August 2012
Sweden will need over 100 000 new teachers in the coming years. But instead, more teachers are leaving the profession because of what is being described as "harsh working conditions and low wages."

Therefore there will be a serious shortage of qualified teachers in Sweden and what the Swedish teachers' union called a "national teacher's crisis."

"We face a national teacher's crisis," said Eva-Lis Siren, president of the Swedish Teachers Union to Radio Sweden.

The need for new teachers is high in the coming years, as many will retire. But with increase in the number of children that need to go to school means that the total amount of teachers needed will also need to be increased.

According to calculations from the Local and Regional government Authorities, SKL, since 2010 and up to 2019 there is the need for 109 000 new teachers. these are highly demanded in the preschool, but also many are needed in the high school in subjects such as mathematics and engineering.

The teachers' unions believe that it will be difficult to recruit as many teachers as needed because recruiting teachers for science and engineering for high school will be very hard. There will be increased struggle to fill teaching positions with the right trained people, according to the Teachers' Association.

The Union president contend that there will be a shortage of 43 000 teachers in eight years. In other words, there will be a national teachers 'crisis,' in Sweden

There are three main problems affecting the Swedish teaching field and which play leading role in attracting teachers.

The first to be identified is the closure of the teaching sector from the broad base society. Dues to traditional racial discrimination in the Swedish job market, ethnic minorities are not encouraged to take careers in teaching. Given the large unemployment within the non-white Swedish population, within it are teachers who are properly trained - say in other countries but are not integrated in the Swedish teaching mainstream. They are disqualified just by their looks. Also younger non-whites are not encouraged to take course that could lead them to careers in teaching as such the number of non-white Swedes in teaching is minimal.

The next problem has to do with their inability to recruit teachers from abroad. With teaching carried out in Swedish, language barrier means that they must rely only n home grown and the fact that not much are being trained it would means that teachers when needed will not be there.

Laxly, government policy in recent month which strong rules have been placed in teacher recruitment and the fact that salaries for teachers in Sweden are not competitive  means that the teaching profession becomes less satisfying leading any teacher already on the field to leave.
by Team

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