TTUTA: Teaching not attracting young people – shortage looms
Lynsley Doodhai, Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) president.
THE TT Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) has expressed concern that the profession is not attracting enough young people and predicts that attracting and retaining teachers will become a major challenge in the next decade,
With teachers being underpaid and undervalued and with a significant number expected to retire over the next ten years, either voluntarily or due to retirement, said TTUTA’s president Lynsley Doodhai, he was apprehensive for the future of the profession if the situation is not urgently addressed.
His comments come as TTUTA celebrates World Teachers’ Day on October 5, with a theme Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession, in keeping with this challenge.
In a message commemorating the occasion, Doodhai said young teachers are essential to the regeneration of the profession.
“Without a new generation of motivated teachers, millions of learners worldwide will miss out or continue to miss out on their right to quality education.
“With teachers being underpaid and undervalued, attracting and retaining talent is a challenge.
“With large percentages of teachers likely to retire from the practice in the coming decade, a major concern is that not enough young candidates are coming into the profession to replace them.”
This week the teachers’ union demonstrated for better terms and condition of work, including better pay. Since the opening of the school term, several problems have been apparent, with a significant number of students either still at home or in shift-system arrangements.
Doodhai said it is estimated that worldwide over 69 million teachers must be recruited by 2030 for primary and secondary education, and of this figure, 49 million new recruits will be needed to replace those who leave the profession.
“As we celebrate World Teachers’ Day, TTUTA takes this opportunity to thank all our hard-working and dedicated teachers, including our ECCE colleagues, for the sterling contribution they render in our classrooms and communities,” he said. “Their efforts ensure that our young minds are moulded so that our country can have a bright future.”
He called on the national community to spare a thought for the invaluable job that teachers do and to reflect on the support they need to carry out their increasingly difficult mandate.
World Teachers’ Day, commemorated since 1994, recognises the expertise, energy and passion of teachers, who are described as the cornerstone of education systems around the world.
“In addition to providing the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide and to take stock of our achievements, it will also allow for some of the pertinent issues critical for attracting and keeping the brightest minds and young talents in the profession to be addressed,” Doodhai said.