Teacher shortage in secondary schools in Auckland

April 25, 2019 Critical Thinking

Teacher shortage in secondary schools in Auckland, NZ (2016-2018): Causes & possible solutions

Teacher shortage in secondary schools has become a major issue in most regions in New Zealand, especially in Auckland. Auckland is confronting the highest teacher shortage. According to Tuatagaloa (2017) amongst 85 secondary schools that are located in Auckland, there exists a scarcity by two to three teachers in every school. As evident from research, in Auckland, numbers of secondary students increased to approximately one million, with nearly 7000 teachers in 2017. If the number of students tends to grow for next two decades, the requirement of over nine thousand teachers will be on the plan to cover the shortages (Tuatagaloa, 2017). There are various issues as a result of insufficient number of teachers. This essay will seek to explain issues and give a possible solution.

First of all, one of the factors that drives the teachers’ absences in Auckland is caused by “housing affordability”(Tuatagaloa, 2017) . It has been pointed out that the pressures were being felt by secondary schools. Head principal of secondary school mentioned that teachers are going out of Auckland schools and moving to places where they can afford houses to buy or rent(Tuatagaloa, P, 2017). As a result of these issues, schools have plenty of job vacancies. For instance, the income of teachers in Auckland and the remaining sector of the country are the same. In Auckland, teachers are likely to pay extra from the amount of income they earn for rent. (Penelope T,2017)

Secondly, the problem that contributes to teacher shortages is due to the ageing of staff in secondary schools. According to Secondary supply working group report (2016) in New Zealand secondary schools have a huge percentage of over fifty-year-old teachers, as demonstrated by the fact that 45.4 percent of teachers are entering the “retirement age”. Handling this has become a major issue for schools. Because of this change, in the next twenty years, there will possibly be more demand for jobs in the easygoing position or “relieving teachers” (Secondary supply working group report,2016). According to PPTA Industrial Strategy for 2018 And beyond (2018) there are several teachers who are not interested in teaching field any longer because of low salary and heavy workloads.

Oxenham, (2018) on NZ Herald stated that due to lower salary, teachers’ career is not preferred when compared to alternative professions. New graduates do not desire to choose teaching as a career and approximately 50% of new teachers have quitted their career at the initial stages – before completion of five years. As result, there will be more scarcity in secondary teachers. Another significant area of shortage of teachers is in certain subjects such as Science, Technology and mathematics (STM). Nearly half of the teachers in secondary schools who are expert in different subjects were asked to instruct students in STM subjects. In addition, a fifth of the teacher was forced to call off classes or apply “distance learning” because of these insufficiencies (Oxenham, 2018). Students who graduate from school in (STM) subjects they do not select the teaching as their passion to meet the requirement from schools. (Secondary supply working group report, 2016) Besides that, several teachers in median age groups highly experiencing the pressures of workloads due to needless and unprofitable tasks that make them unable to do their job successfully according to finding on PPTA workload it make difficult to fill the gap on middle aged teachers. (Industrial strategy 2018 and beyond, 2017)

There are some recommendation for schools, Ministry of education and Government related to this matter to overcome this issue. Firstly, as a consequence of higher price in housing, there should be help from Government to support financially the secondary teachers to make a no deposit plan for housing to keep those teachers who are already available at schools. Secondly, teachers who have already left teaching could be persuaded to rejoin. in addition, schools should hire and employ teachers from other regions or foreign countries.- Pay teachers to help them to upgrade their skills, and the Ministry of education should hand or make a stable group of relievers assign annually as well as an increment in their salary. Develop teaching state to help and make useful teaching and learning environment. More importantly New Zealand agencies need to bring trainee teachers from countries that have the same language, culture and education curriculum as NZ to contribute the quality to NZ schools and educators. (Secondary supply working group report, 2016)

In conclusion, teacher shortness becoming a massive problem in Auckland, housing and renting due to the affordability. Additionally teachers joining retirement demanding part-time job and more teachers are leaving occupation within five years. Another issue with teachers low income, likewise shortness of quality teachers in (STM) subject. Solution to this matter should be addressed to overcome this issues. Retaining the existing teachers, hire more teachers from other regions or overseas, increase their salary to help them upgrade their skills. The state of teaching should be better to help teacher make a profitable “teaching and learning environment”. (Secondary supply working group report, 2016)

References

Tuatagaloa, P. (October, 2017). Affordability of housing Who will teach our children? a Discussion paper. Retrieved from: http://knowledgeauckland.org.nz/assets/publications/Affordability-of-housing-in-Auckland-who-will-teach-our-children.pdf

Lowton, N. (february 27 2018). Retrieved from:
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/101795437/Auckland-education-crisis-6500-more-high-school-teachers-needed-over-next-20-years

Oxenham, J.(2018). Herald NZ, Teachers shortages worse than ever before,secondary school principals survey finds Retrieved from:https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12055838

Collins, S. (2017). Where have all the teachers gone?
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11867471

PPTA Industrial Strategy for 2018 and beyond. (2017). Retrieved from:
https://www.ppta.org.nz/dmsdocument/591

Secondary supply working group report, (2016). Retrieved from:
https://www.ppta.org.nz/dmsdocument/174