Teachers without a degree. Children have the right to qualified teachers.

More and more people without a classical teaching certificate appear in front of Swiss school classes.

Keystone / Christian Beutler

Starting from the next academic year, 88 teachers who have not received traditional training will work in Zurich. The Teachers’ Association is skeptical and has called for long-term measures.

The teacher shortage is getting worse. In many towns and communities, many jobs remain vacant after the summer holidays. The reasons are varied.

On the one hand, many baby-boom teachers are currently retiring, and on the other hand, few teachers are still working full-time. The fact that so many have left also indicates the deterioration of the profession’s attractiveness and structural conditions.

This leads to some creative solutions.

Perhaps the canton of Zurich has taken the most stringent measures. Teachers without training are allowed to teach there for one year. According to the newspaper “Limmattaler Zeitung”, 88 teachers without a diploma will appear in front of a class in Zurich after the summer holidays. New teachers will receive specialized training during the summer holidays.

According to school principal Filippo Leutinger (FDP), 350 of the previously 400 vacancies could have been filled with mostly trained teachers.

About 1500 are currently studying in Bern without a university degree

In the canton of Bern, there are currently 38 permanent positions open for teachers for the next academic year, according to Yves Brechbühler, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education and Culture. There are also 33 jobs that have been announced on a temporary basis.

Just two months ago, there were still about 500 vacancies in the canton of Bern. Can people teach here without proper training? At that time, about 1,500 people were supposed to work in the teaching profession without having a recognized diploma.

In the past year, many cantons have relaxed teacher training requirements due to teacher shortages. At that time, for example, students in a university of education who had completed their basic studies, doctoral degree students who had failed exams, or those who had dropped out of school were allowed to teach. What happened since then?

To combat the shortage of teachers, the canton of Bern has already implemented measures in cooperation with the Cantonal Association of School Principals and the Berne University of Education.

In this way, young teachers will be better supported by providing them with a fence. Graduates will be encouraged to return to work through appeals to retirees and cultural workers. In addition, more students will be employed. “Among other things, a primary school salary increase has been implemented and a photo campaign has been implemented,” says Brechbühler.

The teachers union is not enthusiastic

How is the Swiss Teachers Association reacting to the fact that teacher certification is no longer required to teach a class? Not entertaining. “Every child has the right to be taught by a qualified teacher,” Beat Schwendimann of the Department says of Blue News.

The teaching profession is demanding and requires thorough training. “People who have received only a short pedagogical training or no pedagogical training can hardly meet the high requirements.”

How will the association combat the acute shortage of teachers? It is important that these emergency measures are limited in time. “Skeletal deficits cannot be permanently treated in this way,” Schwendemann says. In order to keep teachers in their jobs for the long term, you need good working and employment conditions.

A look at western Switzerland shows that the teacher shortage is less severe there. For example, schools in Geneva have to turn to unqualified staff less often than those in the canton of Zurich. This writes “Switzerland News” from the SRF.

What makes Geneva different? On the other hand, there are small differences in wages between levels. Whether in kindergarten, high school or vocational school: teachers get a similar amount. In addition, Geneva does not allow short breaks. Teachers must work at least 50 percent. In Geneva, for example, 52 percent of teachers teach almost full-time, while in Zurich only 25 percent.

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