New school year to start with shortage of teachers

The school year will officially begin on Thursday with state primary and secondary schools short of up to 12,000 teachers.

The Education Ministry said on Wednesday a total of 127,033 teachers had started work on September 1 and that another 4,900 substitute teachers had been taken on to fill the gaps. It said a further 10,000 replacement educators would be hired before the end of the month and that 1,000 more would be on standby.

“We estimate that despite the effects of the economic crisis… the shortages will amount to no more than 1 percent of teaching staff,” the Education Ministry stated.

Teaching unions said that there is currently a shortage of 12,000 teachers.

The primary school teachers’ federation (DOE) said another 9,000 educators are needed, while the secondary school teachers’ federation (OLME) estimated that high schools need 3,000 more teachers.