The teacher shortage in Queanbeyan is now a crisis that will only get worse, Queanbeyan Teachers Association president Patrick Doswell has warned.
“They’ve got band-aid solutions where the Department of Education sends out people that have their degrees to go and work at schools, but they’re only temporary, they’re not sticking around,” said Mr Doswell, who began teaching in 2012 and has been at Queanbeyan West Public School for the past eight years.
“No one’s coming. There is no help. We need people. We need teachers. There is a shortage. There’s a crisis.”
“One of the first commitments Nichole made was to contact Sarah Mitchel [Minister for Education]’s office after our march,” he said.
“She also promised to talk to Sarah Mitchell about the other issues we’d stated while we were there which was fantastic, in regards to the staff shortages and workload issues we’ve been having.”
Mr Doswell said Ms Overall agreed there was a lack of teaching staff in schools in the region, which could be alleviated by the short-term option of home learning.
“We were all in agreeance that this was a band-aid solution and that long-term solutions would need to be addressed to make sure this wasn’t a permanent solution,” Mr Doswell said.
Next Monday (11 April), Ms Overall will meet with the Eden Monaro Educational Leadership director and the Queanbeyan Director of Educational Leadership to discuss these concerns. She is also planning to meet with the Department of Education’s Rural and South School Performance executive director Dean White.
“In acknowledging the need to attract more teachers into the profession, the NSW Government is investing $125 million over the next four years. This includes re-training and upskilling more teachers and boosting numbers for our regional/remote areas – with additional incentives to assist in this,” she said.
“I have been advised the Department of Education is doing all it can to support our schools in the Queanbeyan area and fill all permanent vacancies.”
She added that the Department’s School Workforce Directorate has a dedicated recruitment team that provides specialised support to new schools.
Mr Doswell said it is upsetting to see job listings for permanent and temporary teaching roles every week.
“It’s arduous seeing how many positions are going unfulfilled. We’ve had so many walk-off protests via the high schools recently because we don’t have the staff,” he said.
“I just want my students to receive an excellent education.”
Original Article published by Evelyn Karatzas on Riotact.