Dutch schoolchildren make video appeal amid teacher shortage


Parents of children at a primary school in the Netherlands have responded to a national teacher shortage by making a short video of their offspring asking for candidates to come forward and help make their dreams come true.

In the film the children talk about their plans to be a caretaker, pilot, plumber, acrobat or director when they get older. “But that is not possible without a good teacher,” the parents write on the website of Wereldboom school in Amsterdam.

In the video, the last child to speak says: “I want to become a teacher. Because we don’t have that.”

Globally, governments are struggling to recruit teachers. Data from the Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS) suggests that 33 countries will not have enough staff to provide quality education to all their school-age children by 2030.

In the Netherlands, the teaching unions say the teacher shortages is chronic in four out of 10 primary and secondary schools for which they blame poor salaries.

The problem is particularly acute in the country’s major cities where emergency measures taken by headteachers include implementing a four-day week, or having unqualified people teach lessons.

Last month, 16 primary schools in the Nieuw-West area of Amsterdam closed their doors for a week as headteachers sought to reorganise in the face of staff shortages.

Secondary schools have complained that the crisis has resulted in children being unprepared for the level of learning when they move up from primary school.

Nienke Abid, who has three children in Wereldboom, told the Dutch newspaper Het Parool: “We came up with a group of parents and hope that this gives people the final push.

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“It is very unfortunate that we have a shortage. Because the school is really crazy. It is a humanistic school that does a lot about peace education and philosophy. They make children truly citizens of the world.”



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