Many municipalities use untrained teachers to fill classrooms with teaching staff.
In Enebak Municipality, which ranks first among the 150 largest municipalities in using unqualified teachers, a principal says they could not have managed without unqualified teachers.
Senja Municipality is also high in statistics. Last school year, almost every fourth teaching year had a person without teaching training, according to statistics from Statistics Norway.
– We have one school of 30, one of 40 and two schools where more than 50 percent of the teaching positions are occupied by people without recognized teaching training, said Christine S., president of Senja Education Association. Wolfsburg says.
Having surveyed the situation outside Sencha schools at the start of this year’s academic year, he says there are big differences between schools.
While some schools are fully secured with qualified teachers, other schools struggle to get qualified teachers.
In the two schools with the biggest problems, the municipality chose to go the step of providing NOK 100,000 in recruitment grants to find qualified teachers for five positions. The condition is that the appointee should hold the post for two years.
– At all these levels, they hired qualified teachers, so in that sense it worked, says Wolfsberg.
At the same time, slapping new employees with a solid bonus isn’t uncomplicated.
– It may feel unfair to teachers who have been working in the school for many years, and because of the high use of unqualified people, there is a heavy workload. Wolfsberg says new hires tend to earn higher salaries than teachers who have stayed over time and worked diligently.
He says they actively work towards politicians to understand recruitment challenges and address them.
– The responses we receive from local politicians show that they are aware of the situation and are concerned.
– More time for contact teachers
The Center Party and the Conservative Party have held the mayor and deputy mayor since the 2019 election in Senja Municipality.
– It is important to remember that in Senja municipality, as in large parts of northern Norway, there is a shortage of qualified professionals in both the public and private sectors, writes 3rd candidate Alexander Asboll, Senja Hair. .
So part of the solution, he believes, will be to further develop local communities to make them attractive places to settle. He points to better infrastructure, provision of affordable housing, more sports facilities, the lowest possible property tax and reduced parental payments and continued enrollment in kindergartens.
One of the points is increasing time for contact teacher activity, especially when it comes to activities targeted at schools. Another is to arrange for teachers who do not have recognized qualifications to receive continuing and further education.
– We can also pay for this against compulsory years, writes Asbøl.
In its election manifesto for the coming term, the ruling coalition Senterpartiet writes that it will “work to get more qualified teachers for the municipality” and wants to provide “good opportunities for skills development and further education”.
Check your municipality:
There are many unqualified teachers here
– Support for further education
John Harald Johnson of the Senja Labor Party says unskilled workers should be encouraged to take up the decentralized education offered at Finans in the Senja municipality. He believes that financial incentives can be provided through scholarship programs and job opportunities during studies.
– This applies particularly to those already working as unskilled labor in the municipality, but also to others who are interested, Johnson writes in an email.
He pointed out that the Labor Party supported a recruitment grant of NOK 100,000 for particularly demanding appointments. In addition, he points out that Labor wants to establish an environmental committee that can support schools in their work.
– Johnson writes that it will also contribute to easier recruitment of existing and newly qualified teachers.
He also mentions that the salaries of teachers should be increased.
— but Johnson writes that it’s a grotesque exercise at a time when nearly all municipal services face a shortage of skilled workers.
– Strengthen core staff
Gunn Knörr at Senja SV says that to make the municipality more attractive to teachers, measures are needed to improve the daily life of teachers.
– In particular, we want to strengthen the core staff. We want more professional teams in the school, not just with more teachers, Knörr writes in an email.
She hopes more environmental workers and health nurses will help teachers spend their time being teachers.
– In addition, those who do not qualify for teacher training should, if they wish, facilitate it. Knorr concludes that as an employer, the municipality should do more to ensure that employees acquire skills and are qualified for the job they are in.
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