Increasing numbers of secondary school students are being taught by non-specialists in certain subject areas, according to school principals gathered for the annual NAPD conference taking place today.
We have a growing shortage of qualified teachers and the problem is set to get worse if Department of Education officials do not take urgent action, according to the president of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), Cathnia Ó Muircheartaigh.
A key message from the NAPD is that the staffing crisis has meant that many second-level schools do not have qualified teachers in key areas of the curriculum such as science, maths, languages (including Irish) and home economics.
Science and maths, in particular, play a huge part in the technological leaps that are occurring every day, making it critical that schools have an ample supply of qualified teachers to teach these subjects.
A report published earlier this year by the Department of Education on the issue of teacher supply, found on the one hand, that Ireland is producing enough teachers to meet demand, but that there are shortages in key areas such as science and languages.
Pay and conditions are the main reason given for this on the ground. Graduate teachers are attracted by the more favourable pay rates available to them abroad, particulalrly in the Middle East.
Improved pay and conditions for teachers and school leaders here are needed to help compete with this.
The CareersPortal Team