Teaching body condemns use of unqualified teachers in Swiss schools
To combat the acute shortage of teachers in the Swiss school system, many cantons have allowed people to work in classrooms without the correct qualifications. The head of LCH, the umbrella organisation for teachers, has now sounded the alarm over fears that unqualified teachers could impact the quality of education for Swiss children.
Unqualified teachers reducing the quality of education in Switzerland
"The quality of education is in danger. If I, as a mother, were to find out that my daughter was going to a teacher without training, I would no longer be able to sleep well,” noted Dagmar Rösler, president of the LCH. Speaking at a press conference, she argued that employing people without teaching qualifications would have a significant impact on the quality of primary and secondary education.
Rösler noted that many of these unqualified workers are sent to schools without the required training or acclimatisation. Problems could range from a lack of lesson preparation to not knowing what was considered age-appropriate teaching, and that the “crash courses” offered by some cantons are “far from enough” to solve the issue, she asserted.
In addition, Rösler said that the long-term shortage cannot be remedied by unqualified teachers, as they are only allowed to serve on temporary work contracts. In Canton Zurich, Bern and Aargau - the areas most affected by the shortages - unqualified teachers can only work for one year before having to get a diploma, severely limiting their longevity.
Swiss teaching bodies call for more teacher training and funding
To help solve the crisis, Rösler, along with Swiss Association of Headmasters president Thomas Minder, called on the government to support and fund the training of more teachers in Switzerland. In the short term, Minder said that they would start looking for “people with an educational background, such as social workers or people from childcare" to help fill roles permanently.
Concluding the conference, Minder issued a stark warning to schools that rely on temporary unqualified teachers, noting that the “parents of children who are now being taught by a person without training will certainly ask the school for answers" in future.