Recently, China has been shocked by the child abuse allegations in kindergartens throughout the country. As a result, many netizens are calling for more qualified kindergarten teachers to fill this important position. Unfortunately, current statistics are not looking positive when it comes to how this can be delivered upon.
According to Shanghai Morning Post, more than 200 kindergarten companies have approached the East China Normal University looking for suitable future employees. However, they only have 100 graduates majoring in kindergarten teacher training this year.
In Shanghai, the Jiading District alone is in need of 281 kindergarten teachers, and there are only 200 graduates coming from the two universities in Shanghai which offer teacher training, so it seems that job vacancies will continue to outweigh the pool of available employees.
The situation in Shanghai is only the tip of the iceberg for this country-wide issue within China. The report, Faculty Requirements of Kindergarten, released by the Ministry of Education in 2013 states the ratio of kindergarten teachers to toddlers should reach 1:7, however to meet this requirement China would need at least 2.5 million additional kindergarten teachers.
To make matters worse, 2019 will mark the first year for the ‘two-child policy’ to take effect. It is expected the number of children entering kindergarten will continue to climb and reach a maximum by 2021. It is estimated by then, that the number of children eligible to receive pre-school education will increase by 15 million compared to that of 2017, and create a deficit of over 3 million kindergarten teachers.
The issue of graduate numbers not meeting kindergarten teacher vacancies is compounded by expected employment switching, “Not all of them will stick to the job for very long,” remarks Luan Pingzhang, the director for the Employment Center of East China University. “Many of them choose to switch jobs in 2-3 years due to reasons like low salary, high pressure and unpromising prospects.”
This is where we find kindergarten employers relying on unqualified workers to fill the positions of kindergarten teachers. It is reported that in some China provinces, nearly one third of pre-school teachers don’t possess the necessary job training.
In the wake of the recent kindergarten child abuse allegations, it seems more regulated and ambitious action needs to be taken to fulfill the shortage of qualified kindergarten teachers in China and ensure children are taught in a safe environment.
[Images via The Paper]