Teacher shortage affects at least 180 settlements across Hungary

September 27, 2017

Teacher shortage affects at least 180 settlements across Hungary
Photo: Flickr/Shelby Steward

“Lack of teachers is not a national but a local-scale phenomenon which each academic institution is handling with substitute teachers.”  – Bence Rétvari, Undersecretary for the Ministry of Human Resources

Bence Rétvári, Undersecretary for the Ministry of Human Resources, which oversees education, told pro-government daily Magyar Idők that the government had taken numerous measures in recent years to increase the number of students enrolled in university pedagogy programs to prepare them to enter the teaching profession. Those measures have resulted in a 79 percent increase in enrolled pedagogy students between 2013-2017, according to Rétvári (Fidesz).

The undersecretary downplayed labor shortages in the education sector, saying, “Lack of teachers is not a national but a local-scale phenomenon which each academic institution is handling with substitute teachers.”

News portal 24.hu looked into just how many localities are actively seeking teachers, based on data gathered from the government’s public sphere employment portal Közigállás. Around 2,600 job offers appeared on the portal, the vast majority of which were for teachers and primary school instructors. According to 24.hu, more than 180 settlements in Hungary were still seeking teachers on the portal, one month into the start of the school year.

Budapest, easily Hungary’s largest city, featured more than 150 empty teaching positions, according to the portal. Other schools are actively seeking “teachers of any specialization“, so few are their teaching staff.

When news site 24.hu searched for the keyword “teacher” on the government employment website, the search returned hits for 407 open positions. Other schools are opting instead to seek teachers on websites such as Hungary’s classified ad site Vatera.hu.

The news site asked the Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Center (KLIK), the central state agency for managing schools, about how many unfilled teachers positions they are aware of in Hungary.

“Based on data from the beginning of September, there were some 1,000 job vacancies which, when compared to the more than 90,000 teachers working [in public education under KLIK], is quite a small proportion, and in the meantime this number is constantly decreasing,” wrote KLIK in a response.