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Lack of Teachers as School Year Begins

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Lack of Teachers as School Year Begins

Fellaskóli

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

As a new school year is about to begin, three hundred positions remain to be filled in preschools, grade schools and after school centers in Reykjavík, Vísir reports. The head of University of Iceland’s School of Education, Jóhanna Einarsdóttir, calls it a sign of a lack of social responsibility.

On the 17th of August, 102 positions remained open in Reykjavík preschools, 43 in the city’s grade schools and 127 in its after school centers.

According to Jóhanna, the reasons for this shortage are several: the number of students entering grade school this year is unusually high; the number of education majors has been going down in recent years, and large groups of teachers are reaching retirement.

Students entering the School of Education are 79 this year, compared with 211 in 2008. Those entering as majors in preschool education are 34, compared with 88 in 2008.

On the other hand, there has been an increase in the number of BA or BS graduates who enter the School of Education for graduate studies.

Laws that extended teacher education to five years were enacted in 2011, which resulted in fewer students opting for an education major.

“The basis for the welfare of every nation is having good teachers. Politicians must take this very seriously. What do we plan to do as a society to get well educated teachers to work in the country’s schools?” Jóhanna asked.

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