OSLO, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Norwegian ministry of education estimates that Northern Norway will need at least 4,000 teachers to replace unskilled workers and teachers who will retire in the next ten years, newspaper Aftenposten reported Tuesday.
Although the overall figures of teacher shortage have been substantially decreased in recent years, the ministry of education is concerned about northern Norway, the report said.
The challenges lie in a higher proportion of unskilled workers in Northern Norway than in the rest of the country and bigger problems with filling up the study places.
Minister of Education and Research Torbjorn Roe Isaksen said that there was a need for government action to meet the shortage of teachers in the three northernmost counties of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark, which he will visit this week.
"I want to hear what kind of measures they believe will be able to function. It can be anything from extra scholarships to more recruitment initiatives," Isaksen told Aftenposten.
Northern Norway has, according to the minister, "a protracted recruitment problem." He expressed fear that the situation is going to deteriorate.
"Simply because many are retiring and because we see that teacher education programs over there are struggling a bit more to recruit than in the rest of the country," Roe Isaksen said
"There are great distances, decentralized schools and many small schools, and perhaps it also has something to do with the fact that historically there has been a weaker tradition of higher education there than in other parts of the country," he said.