Teaching union AOb is calling on the government to increase teacher salaries because one in nine children will not have a teacher as the new school year starts.
Schools have spent the last weeks trying to fill vacancies and exploring other ways of ensuring teaching can go ahead, such as employing unqualified staff, combining classes or introducing a four-day week.
“That is not going to solve the teacher shortage,” AOb spokeswoman Floor de Booys told Nu.nl. “Schools have been improvising to get their schedules into some sort of order but what we need are long-term solutions,” she said.
If the government does not do more to tackle the shortage, education quality will suffer, the union warned.
Salary hikes and less work pressure would be a good start, De Booys said. “If you want to attract new teachers you need to pay them a living wage. And if you want to keep them you must make sure they are not overworked.
“People think teaching a class of 30 is the same as teaching a class of 60. But that’s 60 tests you need to score. And as for paying attention to individual children, that would be impossible,” she said.
Caretaker schools minister Mariëlle Paul said government efforts to remedy the situation must strengthened as soon as possible and should not wait for the next government.
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