German primary schools facing significant shortage of teachers: study

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-09 23:44:17|Editor: yan
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BERLIN, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- There would be a shortage of at least 26,300 teachers in German primary schools by 2025, according to a study published by the Bertelsmann Foundation on Monday.

A previous forecast by the conference of education ministers of Germany's federal states in October 2018 had only assumed that there would be a shortage of 15,300 teachers in 2025, the Bertelsmann study noted.

"This discrepancy is due to a stronger increase in the number of pupils," according to the study.

The German education and cultural ministers' conference had based its 2018 forecast on the assumption that the number of pupils in primary school would be 3.064 million in 2025.

According to the most recent forecast from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), however, the number of primary school children in Germany was likely to be around 3.232 million in 2025.

"Coping with the shortage of teachers is a Herculean task. The number of pupils is growing more dynamically than expected," commented Joerg Draeger, member of the Executive Board at the Bertelsmann Foundation.

In order to address the shortage of teaching staff, the study called for "a complete bundle of measures," such as allowing part-time teachers in Germany to better reconcile their jobs with their family lives.

"To counter the shortage of teachers in the short term," the study noted that prospective retirees should be encouraged to prolong their teaching career.

The German Education and Science Workers' Union (GEW) called for easier entry requirements for those wishing to become teachers after finishing school.

"It is a disgrace that young people who have chosen the important profession of primary school teacher do not get a place at university," said GEW leader Marlis Tepe.

The Bertelsmann study was "a wake-up call" because the children who would be learning in German primary schools in 2025 had already all been born, emphasized Bertelsmann study author Dirk Zorn, senior project manager for integration and education at the foundation.