School is about to start – and the cantons are fighting for the teachers! Zurich pays high wages, almost all positions are filled. Elsewhere the situation is precarious.
the essentials in brief
- Shortly before school starts, some cantons are well positioned despite a shortage of teachers.
- Others are still missing more than 100 teachers.
- While the people of Zurich breathe a sigh of relief, the situation in Bern, for example, remains tense.
School is about to start soon. As in other years, schools have difficulties finding several qualified teachers this year. A sharp increase in the number of students, many retirements of the baby boomer generation and the general shortage of skilled workers also make the situation more difficult.
Now there is even a personal battle between the different schools! Beat A. Schwendimann, member of the executive board of the umbrella organization of teachers in Switzerland (LCH), is concerned: “There is a lot of competition. Some schools even poach people from each other.”
High wages in Zurich – almost all positions are filled
The personnel problem is not known everywhere. Before the summer holidays, “more or less all the positions were filled,” reports the education department of the canton of Basel-Stadt.
In the canton of Zurich, too, there are only a little more than 40 vacancies. “20 weeks before school started there were still around 940,” according to the cantonal education department.
At that time, the authorities warned of the great shortage of teachers. A school in Küsnacht ZH even offered a “finder’s fee” for new employees.
Bern and Aargau are still looking for many teachers
In the canton of Bern, where more than 130 jobs are still advertised, the situation has not yet been defused. There are also 223 positions in Aargau, of which around 126 are permanent. And in Basel, too, one admits: “It was more challenging to fill the positions than in other years.”
This is mainly due to the wage differences between the cantons. The salaries of teachers in Zurich are high in comparison, and even higher in Zug. In Bern and Aargau, on the other hand, the pay is less good.
“Other industries can cancel flights, for example”
Schwendimann is aware that many sectors are currently struggling with staff shortages, not just schools. “But other companies can refuse orders or cancel flights. You can’t just drop a class,” said the representative of the LCH to Nau.ch.
It is possible, for example, to distribute girls and students to fewer classes. According to Schwendimann, this deteriorates the quality of the teaching and increases the workload for the teachers.
The schools are currently scraping together teachers in every nook and cranny. Teachers are brought back from retirement or PH students teach without completing their training. In addition, in an emergency, teachers often have to take on subjects or levels for which they are not trained.
Critical: Even the untrained are now allowed to teach in some cases
It is particularly critical for Schwendimann that sometimes even completely untrained people are hired. “A child has the right to a qualified, trained teacher,” he says.
Instead of just plugging the holes, according to the LCH, the problem should be tackled at the root. Schwendimann explains: “More measures are needed to increase the attractiveness of the profession.” Teachers should be able to work at high percentage for longer without suffering burnout, which is often the case at the moment.
Are you a teacher?
The problem will only get worse in the future, explains Schwendimann: “In the next ten years, around 120,000 more children will be of school age than before.” This requires more classrooms and teachers.