If you don’t count it, you can’t fix it
Maths and statistics teachers around the country will be baffled by the government’s latest forecast of teachers required out to 2025. Instead of quantifying the shortage, the Ministry of Education has done its sums under the assumption that there were the correct number of secondary teachers in 2017. Secondary teachers know this is not correct.
PPTA president Jack Boyle says, “Quality data and and forecasting are essential to create a plan for the teaching workforce. Acknowledging the challenges for the profession is an important first step. Using flawed assumptions to begin with isn’t the best start, though.”
However, even the ministry’s conservative forecasts suggest that New Zealand secondary schools will be short 2,200 teachers by 2025.
“What this data does show very clearly is that we need to recruit a lot more teachers,and do everything we can to make it a career they want to stay in,” Boyle says.
Evidence from overseas studies shows that teacher shortages will never be addressed if pay and conditions for the profession aren’t attractive. PPTA believes this newly released information should be all the government needs to step up and make the corrections that need to be made for the secondary teaching profession.
“We also hope a comprehensive plan would include salaries and working conditions, and look into the kind of teachers the country needs. For example, in 2017, there were only 5 computer science teacher graduates, 15 engineering teachers and no food tech teachers at all.”