As term starts

Local councils struggle to recruit enough teachers

Local councils struggle to recruit enough teachers
As the school year begins, more than 100 of Sweden's local municipalities say they face a serious teacher shortage, with some unable to fill vacant positions.

7,200 teachers still needed to fill vacancies

The severe lack of teachers continues in Sweden, with over 7,200 vacant teaching positions, according to figures from the National Employment Agency.

With schools starting up again after the summer, many of them do so without having all the teachers they need. At the end of July, there were over 7,200 unfilled teaching positions in Sweden.
That is down from 7,500 vacancies at the same time last year, but still it is a tall order for the schools to try to fill them in time.
In some regions the situation is worse than others. In Västra Götaland, on the west coast around Gothenburg, the number of unfilled teaching positions have increased by 17 per cent since last year.
Ann-Charlotte Robb is a head teacher at Grevegårdsskolan in Gothenburg. She says it is really hard to recruit teachers these days.
"It is really a teacher’s market," she said, with people being able to choose which jobs they take.
"Many times, you have booked an interview with an applicant, who then cancels the day before, because he or she has already got another job,"

One of those who have applied for and found a job during the spring, is Emma Antti in Gothenburg. She is a teacher of maths and science, which are the subjects where the lack of teachers is most acute.
"I have been pretty picky, she says. I wanted to work in a school close to where I live, and I wanted a full time job. I really have been able to choose," she says.
According to statistics from the Swedish council for Higher Education, the number of students who got a place at a teaching training college this autumn has gone up by three per cent compared to last year. But that is partly because the teacher training has expanded in Sweden, because at the same time, the interest in becoming a teacher has gone down, with 2000 fewer applying to teacher training this year, compared to last.
Maria Rönn is the deputy chairman of the Swedish teachers union. She is concerned for the future of teaching and urges the political parties to work more in agreement to try to solve the issues.
"The politicians must stop warring over the schools and instead find joint long-term solutions so that we can have peace to work in the schools. And so that the schools are not seen as a problem area, where no-one wants to work," she says.

Is it a golden opportunity for some Brits answering the call to address the shortage ?

Sweden’s teacher shortage has led to a growing number of local municipalities to come up with some creative solutions to the problem.
Skellefteå in northern Sweden ran an advertising campaign in British media and on social media to sell the town as an attractive place for Brits to come and teach.
The campaign, reported in newspaper SvD, is bearing fruit, with eight new teachers making the move.

Only the Brits ? No ...

Immigrant teachers getting help to start work in Swedish classrooms

Last year, about 10 newcomers to Stockholm have earned their teaching licenses through a special city-run project called "From newly arrived teacher to newly employed teacher" (Från nyanländ till nyanställd lärare).
Claudia Obando, who participated in the program, moved to Sweden from Colombia and has more than 20 years of experience teaching in her native country. Now that she has earned the Swedish language credentials that are required in order for her to be able to teach here, she has applied for her teaching license, and in the meantime has received a job offer to teach English and Spanish at a private school.
"That was really, really, really, really exciting," Obando tells Radio Sweden, about how she felt when she learned she got the job.
Sweden needs teachers and the project helps newcomers, including immigrants and asylum seekers who have already been trained as teachers, by giving them a network and assisting them to get internships, among other things. It can be a long process. The time it takes for these people to get a teacher’s license varies depending on the individual, but it takes a minimum of a year and a half, says Rydén. One thing that takes time is getting up to speed with the Swedish language.
Since its inception in 2016, the project has worked with about 150 people from about 30 countries, from places in the Middle East to Europe and from Asia to Latin America.

How Sweden is fast-tracking Syrian teachers into schools

The pioneers among the teachers newly arrived in Sweden from across the Arab world already celebrated some 2 years ago the end of their six-month fast-track course at Stockholm University. To cut the time it takes them to start teaching in Swedish schools, much of the course was taught in Arabic.

The fast-track or ’snabbspår’ programme, was launched then by Sweden’s Labour Minister Ylva Johansson, and Higher Education Minister Helene Hellmark Knutsson, as a response to the refugee wave which hit Sweden in the autumn of 2015. 

Source : The Local

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