Shortage of teachers with degrees looms

The academic level of Dutch teachers is falling rapidly and only 26% of young high- school teachers have university degrees, according to a report published on Tuesday by the government’s main social policy advisor SCP.

The SCP report said that in the school year 2003-2004, 42% of teachers over the age of 55 were graduates, this had decreased to around 33% in the 35 to 44 age group and 26% for the youngest category. A ‘severe shortage’ of teachers with academic qualifications was looming, the SCP said.
The trend is the result of government policies which have reduced qualifications for would-be teachers over the last few years to attract a wider range of candidates and plug staff shortages. In addition, the SCP points out, new graduates can earn far more in the private sector. Education minister Maria van der Hoeven expressed her concerns about the quality of teachers during her budget day speech last week admitting there will be more unqualified teachers and more low-level classroom functions in the coming years. The minister said that while she agrees teachers should be paid more, she does not have the funds to increase salaries at present. In today’s Telegraaf, the AOb teaching union said that €1 bn is needed to improve the academic level of teachers.
In total, 500,000 people are employed in education, of whom 60% work part time.

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