German Schools Face Dire Teacher Crunch | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 02.10.2003
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German Schools Face Dire Teacher Crunch

German schools are facing a dramatic lack of teachers, education unions warned on Wednesday as they demanded better working conditions for teachers and quick reforms in teacher training programs. "Almost half the teachers in Germany will retire over the coming years," Eva-Maria Stange, chairwoman of education union GEW said as she pointed out that there was already a dearth of teachers in vocational schools and for subjects such as natural sciences and foreign languages. "There are so many increased demands and conditions have worsened so greatly, that becoming a teacher is no longer a dream job for young people," Stange said. She blamed crowded classrooms and poor remuneration for teachers expected to put in longer working hours, for the current misery. According to the Association for Education, VBE, there are just about 780,000 teachers currently working in Germany and over 300,000 of them are expected to retire over the next ten years.