The education system in Ontario is currently in “crisis” mode, due to what some are calling a crippling low number of teachers in the province. Officials say it’s a struggle that began last year.
“Many boards across Ontario — we are experiencing a shortage of teachers. We couldn’t hire enough teachers on our occasional list to meet the demand.
“We had lots of shortages in class where teachers would be absent and we didn’t have enough teachers filling in those positions so schools had to figure out how they are going to cover those classes,” said Elementary Federation of Teachers of Ontario, Kawartha Pine Ridge Local president, Shirley Bell.
Bell says her school board has hired 150 teachers over the last few months. They will be substitute teachers, but it won’t take long for them to become full-time, permanent teachers.
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“Now particularly for French teachers, they are getting hired right out of teachers’ college, so there’s active recruitment happening, boards are being very aggressive trying to get teachers prior to them even graduating to make sure that they can fill those allotments of teachers,” said Bell.
It all trickles back to 2015 when the Ontario government changed teachers’ college from a one-year program to a two-year program. At the time, there was an influx of teachers graduating, but not enough jobs.
“There’s nothing wrong with having a two-year program and giving teachers more experience, but what has happened because of the two-year program is, it has slowed down the rate of people graduating but it also means that you have students that aren’t enrolling into the program,” said Bell.
She adds the extra year of schooling means extra expenses that some just can’t afford.
She says this time is definitely exciting for new graduates looking for a job. She hopes that in the future, people get the message that there is once again hiring going on in Ontario for teachers.
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