A survey by Der Spiegel of the federal states’ cultural ministries revealed that Germany’s primary schools are currently short about 2000 teachers.
According to the Ministry of Schools in Düsseldorf, there is an especially acute shortage in North Rhine-Westphalia, where 926 positions were not filled by the beginning of the school year. Only the states of Berlin, Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate reported all of their teaching positions filled.
The federal states are using creative solutions to try and fill these gaps. Lower Saxony requested that 171 Gymnasium (secondary school) teachers transfer to primary schools, Baden-Württemberg is trying to recruit retirees back into active teaching, and Bremen is planning to hire more teachers from abroad.
In addition, the federal states are encouraging more people with experience in other fields to enter teaching profession. Berlin is the only state where more than half of elementary school teachers do not have formal teaching credentials.
Editorial staff (alb)