Germany: Teacher shortage will soon hit 160,000


Over the past decade, the teaching staff in Germany has become much younger. This means that a large outflow of teachers due to retirement is not expected in the near future. Despite this, the problem of lack of teachers is evident. Experts expect that by the mid-2020s there will be a shortage of tens of thousands of teachers. Expert estimates differ. Some call the figure 76,000, others – 160,000 people. However, everyone agrees that the problem with the lack of teachers will only get worse.

Ten years ago, the teaching staff in Germany was quite mature. In the 2010/2011 academic year, almost a third of the teachers were over 55 years of age. Whereas in the 2020/2021 academic year, the percentage of teachers of this age was just under a quarter. While the German working population as a whole is getting older, the teaching staff is getting younger. As a result, only a small percentage of teachers will retire for the foreseeable future.

However, there is a shortage of teachers in the country. It is expected that in the 2025/2026 academic year Germany will probably be short of 35,000 teachers, in five years – 68,000, and in 2035/2036 – already 76,000.

The teachers’ union VBE (Verband Bildung und Erziehung) gave even more depressing figures. According to the figures they have, if the situation does not improve, Germany will need 160,000 teachers by 2035.

The problem will continue to grow even though the number of schoolchildren has fallen by almost 7% over the past decade, while the number of teachers has increased by 4% on average across the country. The situation in the lands is somewhat different from each other. However, there are significant regional differences. In Berlin, the number of teachers increased by 21.6%, while in Saxony-Anhalt it decreased by 5.6%.

The acute shortage of teachers starting in 2030 is attributed to the sharp increase in the birth rate in the 2010s. Currently, the baby boom is observed only in primary schools, but by the mid-2020s it will cover secondary schools.

By the 2030/2031 academic year, the number of students in general education schools will increase nationwide by 9% nationwide, while the growth of students in lower secondary schools will increase by more than 15%, according to the Conference of Ministers of Education and Culture.

The situation in the federal states will also differ significantly. Berlin is expected to have the largest increase in enrollment + 17%. In Saxony-Anhalt, the number of students will decrease by 0.6%, and in the state of Saar even by 1.6%.

Approximately 761,000 teachers worked in Germany in the 2020/2021 academic year. Approximately 799,000 teachers are expected to be needed in the 2025/2026 academic year, and 836,000 in the 2030/31 and 2035/36 academic years.

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Source: Все материалы – Московский Комсомолец by www.mknews.de.

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