Urban Areas Suffering from Shortage of Teachers
The Aontú Representative for Castletroy, Teacher and a member of the Aontú Education Committee, Eric Nelligan, has stated that the Minister for Education Norma Foley and the Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris are not doing enough to tackle the growing shortage of teachers across the Irish education system. The problem is most acute in urban areas, Dublin, Cork, Limerick City and Galway being one of the areas under pressure with many teacher posts unfilled.
Mr Nelligan, ‘’A survey published within the last academic year showed that more than half of all second-level schools have unfilled vacancies. 55% of principals reported that that they had vacancies at the time of the survey while more than 84% of principals said they had experienced situations during the school year where no teacher applied for an advertised post.’’
‘’The teacher shortage has been growing over the past few years. The efforts being made have been shown to be ineffectual. The current Ministers with responsibility Min Foley and Min Harris have overseen a worsening supply of teachers.’’
‘’Surveys have given clear reasons for the shortage of teachers; Inadequate numbers of teachers graduating in certain subjects, the cost of the two-year Professional Master of Education, the decline in the attractiveness of teaching as a profession with the two-tier pay scales and larger class sizes and poorer working conditions when compared colleagues across the OECD. Urban areas and their commuter belt are particularly negatively affected by the exorbitant rise in the general cost of living and the unattractiveness of living in cities due to high rent, housing and the return of the long commutes’’.
‘’Precious little is being done to tackle the shortage. Aontú are calling for an acceleration of the process of pay equalisation for those who started employment since 2011, a return to teachers being employed on contracts of full hours upon initial appointment and the restoration of middle management posts. Aontú are also extremely concerned with the impact the accommodation crisis, the rental crisis and the housing crisis are having across the country. They are having a detrimental effect on educators prepared to teach in urban centre. The education of our children is being disadvantaged because in too many cases teachers cannot afford to live in certain areas.” concluded Mr Nelligan.