01 July 2008

Australia -- Chronic Teacher Shortages

The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, who also happens to double as Education Minister feels inspired by a British teacher recruitment drive. She is so inspired by the recruitment drive that she is hoping to introduce it to Australia.

Australia suffers a chronic teacher shortage for a number of reasons. Primarily among these is that teachers were underpaid for the value that they provide to the community through education and many simply became more valuable in the private sector and in other fields.

The recruitment drive was somewhat provocatively themed, "Those who can, teach". There were other catchy little slogans used such as, "Use your head, teach". It seems that this has resulted in a significant increase in the numbers of undergraduates entering into teaching based degrees.

However, the government's only real commitment to date on this front is to offer to halve the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) fees for those graduates that take a teaching qualification. I think that a commitment to raising salaries might go a fair way to "inspiring" people to get into teaching.

I guess we wait and see!

7 comments:

GJ said...

FG has just enrolled this month in a teaching degree via Murdoch in Perth. It is an online delivery method, one of only two we could find in Aust. The other being in Tassie. The Hecs info is a bonus to us!!! Thanks

Rob Baiton said...

The government has made a commitment to the HECS deal. I am not sure whether it is up and running or there are 'things' still to be worked out.

It was an election promise if I recall correctly. So, it could be the end of the year before it is up and running.

If I hear anything more I will let you know.

rimafauzi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rimafauzi said...

Among the Indonesian government officials, it seems the popular catchphrase is 'Those who can, steal!' and 'Use your head, steal!'

Rob Baiton said...

Rima...

"those who steal, stupid" or "use your head, KPK"...

Maybe one day some alternative slogans might come to the fore in Indonesia.

Jen Jen in Jakarta, Indonesia said...

I am constantly amazed about the lack of teachers and nurses currently in Australia.

When I completed my HSC in Sydney quite a few years ago (late '80s)we were all strongly advised not to do a teaching or nursing degree as there was a huge oversupply in both professions. The entry level and the cost of the degree was raised to deter applicants.

The waiting time to gain a job with the Dept of Education in NSW was 4-6 years and only if you did country service.

Here we are 20 years later....with a chronic shortage of teachers and nurses. As you rightly point out a teachers salary doesn't really make you want to go out and pay for a four year degree.....

Rob Baiton said...

Jen...

Yep, I completed my HSC back in the 1980's as well. Teaching and nursing were indeed two career paths that were not promoted. Both my folks were teachers and I probably should have listened to them and done a teaching degree anyway.

Both of them pointed out that there would be a teacher shortage as the generation before them and then they themselves retired the gap would widen quite dramatically and as it turns out it has.

Oh well.