The shortage of teachers is threatening the state of education in Swiss schools. A recent report by Swiss media shows that there is a large gap in male teachers taking over the education industry. Educational experts believe that it is relatively important to increase the number of male teachers in Swiss schools.
Katarina Farkas head of the Zug University of Teacher Education noted that it is important to increase the percentage of male teachers in Swiss schools.
“We don’t think men are betters teachers, we just think that mixed teams are better for schools,” Farkas said.
Educational experts believe in order to develop realistic images of men; boys specifically need living role models rather than virtual ones.
Farkas does not believe pay is holding back men from taking teaching professions, she said that teachers in Switzerland receive around a third more than those in social work, a sector with similar issues.
Swiss Educational Hurdles
It has been reported that Switzerland is the only country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that trains its teachers in in three years instead of four. It is also the only country whose teachers give most lessons, 28-32 a week instead of the European average of 20-24.
Having said that many might wonder how all this is affecting the state of education in Swiss schools. According to media reports many teachers are using these statistics to push the educational authorities into taking more stringent measures prior to employing teachers.
Lack of teachers’ mean that in many cantons teachers are being hired for positions for which they have received no training. Anton Strittmatter from the German-speaking teacher’s association says the problem is further exacerbated by lack of male teachers in the industry.
“The fact that fewer men are opting for this career is making the problem worse,” he said
Adding more to the problem is the increasing number of Swiss teachers who will be retiring soon.
“We know that a third of Swiss teachers are going to retire in the next five to ten years,” said Georges Pasquier president of the French-speaking teachers union. He said that the issue of retiring teachers is more recognizable in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.
This would put an additional burden on cantonal officials to hire more teachers in the near future. Anton Strittmatter also believes that cantons need extreme reforms to boost the appeal of teaching as a career.
Mentioning a few issues Strittmatter believes that teacher’s salaries aren’t competitive enough for a young generation of teachers. He also believes that teacher training poses a huge challenge between the teachers and the cantons.