Half a million unemployed Turkish teachers waiting for assignment
Even if universities stopped registering students to their teaching programs, it would take a decade for the current teacher candidates to be properly employed, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Jan. 8.
“Forty-five of our colleagues have ended their lives because they could not be assigned,” said Feray Aytekin Aydoğan, director of the Education and Science Workers’ Union (Eğitim-Sen) , drawing attention to the depressing unemployment rates.
The number of unemployed teachers has reached half a million, but the crisis concerns the whole country, not only teachers, said Aytekin.
The problem also does not end with graduates looking for jobs.
These numbers are highly likely to increase, considering students currently on the path to receiving diplomas in teaching.
There are more than 200,000 students on the path to a diploma that would grant them the license to teach, according to numbers provided in the Education Ministry’s Strategic Report.
Including university students studying literature, literary and human sciences and religious studies, more than 650,000 undergraduate students are headed towards a bleak future.
When the calculation includes graduates attending advanced teaching programs, such as pedagogical formation courses, more than a million diploma-holding citizens have currently been left unemployed in Turkey.
“This situation clearly shows the need for the re-organization of quotas to meet the requirements for teachers,” the report said.
The report also stated a need to handle the situation, which is becoming more complex by the day.
The number of schools in the country has risen from 63 to 92 and the number of students have risen from 14,000 to 228,000 in the past 15 years, according to the report.
“It had been announced 109,000 graduates had been waiting to be employed during budget talks, and yet, only 20,000 had been assigned by the Education Ministry,” Aytekin said.
“This is ironic,” she added.
Yet the problem is also likely to have long-term impacts on top of the low morale candidates currently suffer from.
The next three years will show whether the teachers’ unemployment problem will become even more chaotic, according to education specialist Alaattin Dinçer.
Dinçer said he expects a million unemployed teachers to be waiting for their assignments by 2022.
“Even if 100,000 teachers are employed each year and no more students had been admitted to education faculties, it would take at least 10 years to solve this problem,” he said.
“If this problem is not resolved as soon as possible, dark and tragic days are ahead of us,” Dinçer said.
There are currently 412,015 unemployed teachers with diplomas in Turkey. Teachers rank second in the list of unemployed graduates, according to the daily.