South African teachers looking to move abroad in the coming year may be in luck – New Zealand has announced it will have a shortage of teachers in 2019. The country’s Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, said 650 primary school teachers and 200 secondary school teachers are going to be needed in the country.

“We know that some schools and parents, particularly in the Auckland area but also in pockets around the country, are concerned that not enough teachers are coming into the system, and we are determined to pull out all the stops to meet next year’s projected shortfall,” Hipkins said in a media statement. “We’re committing an extra $10.5 million, on top of the $29.5 million already announced since late last year, to ramp up teacher recruitment initiatives and increase funding for schools – bringing funding to $40 million this year to fill vacancies.”

This predicted shortfall of teachers is driven mainly by the growing number of students in schools.

Although New Zealand’s government has said that it will be implementing a number of incentives to encourage local teachers, it will need to rely on overseas recruitment in the short term.

“Last week Immigration NZ, working with the Education Ministry, directly emailed 6 000 overseas teachers who’ve registered an interest in working here – to encourage them to take the next step,” Hipkins said. “A social media campaign targeting this groups is also underway and a campaign targeting New Zealand-trained teachers working overseas will follow soon. The Education Ministry is working with the Teaching Council to improve the support available to overseas-trained teachers, including a focus on induction that builds the culturally responsive practices needed to work in New Zealand.”

New Zealand is looking to recruit teachers from South Africa, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Fiji.

Auckland will face the most severe shortages, with 260 primary teachers and 130 secondary school teachers needed. Meanwhile, Southland, Queenstown and Wanak require primary school teachers, and Northland and Tauranga are looking for secondary school teachers.

Picture: Pixabay

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Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.