A few days before the first bell, Wrocław is struggling with quite a problem. According to the city council, there are around 700 teachers’ vacancies in schools. There are several reasons for this, but the most frequently mentioned are poor salaries.
We were informed about the staff shortages by Marcin Miedziński from the Department of Education of the Municipal Office in Wrocław. The official admits that the situation on the labor market is difficult and cites the main reason for it – low wages. Teachers retrain and simply go where they get more salary, often changing not only their schools but also their profession.
The threat is also noticed by Mirosława Chodubska from the Polish Teachers’ Union, who admits that the teaching profession is not as popular as it used to be.
– Certainly some teachers are retiring. Some teachers give up the profession altogether because they find better-paid jobs. First of all, IT and mathematics teachers or teachers of foreign languages. We have been seeing such a trend for several years, when, for example, gymnasiums were closed. Many teachers did not want to return to primary schools to work and preferred to look for this job outside of education – says Chodubska.
The municipality and the schools themselves are trying to take ad hoc measures. – The solution is already overtime for teachers. Principals also send teachers to post-graduate studies, which allows them to teach more subjects. School principals are aware of the shortcomings, they help each other, there is no “buying up” of teachers – assures Marcin Miedziński from the Medical University in Wrocław.
On Thursday, TVN24 reporter Tomasz Mildyn spoke with Paweł Minerowicz, director of Primary School No. 29 in Wrocław. He admitted that a few days earlier he had completed the teaching schedule in his institution. He succeeded, the headmaster used private contacts, and the school has an established reputation, so it was easier to fill the vacancies. Other directors may not be so lucky.
All interviewees agree that without systemic solutions, there is no chance of improving the situation. Without wage increases, the trend will continue.
Main photo source: TVN24