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Teacher Shortage in Hungarian Public Education: At Least 1700 are Needed

Fanni Kaszás 2019.08.27.

According to Népszava, less than one week before the start of the new school year, more than 1700 job listings for teachers can be found on the governmental job search portal. There are schools in which only one vacancy can be found, but there are schools which are still searching for multiple teachers. 

According to the Ministry of Human Resources and the Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Centre (KLIK), this is not that much of a problem as it seems. They claim that the increase in job vacancies is “natural” during the summer months, as many people are moving and changing jobs during this period, and the situation settles by fall.

Govt to Raise Teachers’ Wages to Keep Them in the Profession

The news portal also quotes from a teacher’s blog, who writes that without a better solution, headmasters are giving extra hours for specialized teachers. “In the beginning of the year meetings, the sweating headmaster announces that, unfortunately, he could not recruit 2-4-6-8 colleagues. The problem is yet to be solved. Specialized teachers (where available) are addressed first. They can squeeze in two or three additional classes, what are those, 30-32 lessons taught per week? Then there are the volunteers. This is how the English teacher becomes the physics teacher as well, while the P.E. teacher also teaches math.”

Tamás Szűcs, Chairman of the Teachers Democratic Trade Union (PDSZ), announced that this summer, school districts posted more job advertisements than last year, but it is still just a part of the statistics, because:

the governmental job portal does not include church or foundation institutions, and does not advertise all vacancies in public schools either. Additionally, job vacancies to cover those on GYES, unpaid leave, or long-term sick pay are also not advertised.

The union estimates that nationwide, usually 70 teachers do the job where at least 100 teachers would be needed. No improvement can be expected, as even according to the Nemzeti Pedagógus Kar/National Union of Teachers (NPK), 60-70 thousand teachers will retire in the next one and a half decades, while at the same time, the new generation of teachers is shrinking. According to Emmi, only about half of those graduating as teachers start to work in schools, and many of them leave the profession within the first few years.

In July, the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) announced to write to all school district heads to find out how many teachers are missing from Hungarian public education, with a plan to work on a solution.

DK to Investigate Number of Missing Teachers in Hungarian Education

featured photo: MTI/Komka Péter