Australian federal Education Minister Jason Clare on Monday called for a meeting with his state and territory counterparts to address a nationwide teacher shortage exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a government modelling, the demand for secondary school teachers in Australia will outstrip supply by more than 4,000 over the next three years, reports Xinhua news agency.
The Minister has called for the meeting this week to tackle the shortage and work on a plan.
“We have a teacher shortage right across the country,” Clare said.
An issues paper released by the Department of Education said on Monday that the shortage is a “systemic issue” exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Declining numbers of new graduate teachers, increasing demand from a growing student population and an ageing teacher and leadership workforce are all contributing to teacher shortages,” it said.
“The existing shortages have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, with teachers working in a challenging environment and education systems and schools having had to innovate to manage illness and absences.”
It identified a lack of opportunities for teachers to be “recognised and remunerated for their expertise”.
The higher education sector has proposed having student teachers do more of their training on the job under a paid “degree apprenticeship programme” to help address the shortage.