Monday, 23 October 2017

MfD: Young teachers leaving Czech schools

ČTK |
13 October 2017

Prague, Oct 12 (CTK) - The number of young teachers has been rapidly decreasing in the Czech Republic since they are leaving schools and fresh graduates from education faculties prefer more lucrative jobs, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes on Thursday, referring to the Education Ministry's statistics.

While ten years ago, there were 4 percent of young teachers under 25 at primary schools, now it is mere 1.7 percent.

The number of teachers under 35 has considerably dropped, too, while the number of experienced teachers shortly before their retirement age has almost doubled since 2006, MfD writes.

This is partially caused by the demographic development. There are not so many university students since their generation is not as strong as the previous baby-boomers, born in the 1970s, for instance.

Despite that thousands of fresh graduates annually leave education faculties, but many of them do not start working in their profession at all, or they leave schools after a few years mostly due to low salaries, MfD writes.

A starting teacher earns slightly under 25,000 crowns a month and those aged under 35 years have only 1000-crown higher salaries.

The national average pay is some 29,300 crowns.

"Money naturally plays the role. If a teacher wants to have a family and own housing, this is clear. They cannot apply for a mortgage with a teacher's pay," Pavel Bednar, director of a primary school in Ricany near Prague, told MfD.

Teachers' salaries are raised gradually according to the years of practice. They varied from 24,960 to 32,500 crowns on average in 2016.

However, young teachers must wait years to achieve the average pay of over 31,000 crowns, MfD adds.

Teachers criticise the fact that their pay level does not reflect the quality of their work, but it depends on the age, respectively years of practice, only, and that they have no chance of a career advancement, MfD says.

They also mind the low prestige of their profession in Czech society.

However, the generation of current young teachers is different than their predecessors, Vladimira Spilkova, head of the primary pedagogy chair of Prague's Faculty of Education, said.

"They are more self-confident, they do not fear to change their professional career. In the past, people used to stick to the branch they studied," Spilkova told MfD.

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