Free State of Saxony Takes Further Measures to Combat Teacher Shortage
Document for strengthening teacher education in the Chemnitz region signed by Minister of Science Sebastian Gemkow, Minister of Education Christian Piwarz, and Prof. Dr. Maximilian Eibl, Vice President for Academic and International Affairs at Chemnitz University of Technology
Minister of Science Sebastian Gemkow and Minister of Education Christian Piwarz of the Free State of Saxony, along with Prof. Dr. Maximilian Eibl, Vice President for Academic and International Affairs at Chemnitz University of Technology, signed a cornerstone document to strengthen teacher education at Chemnitz University of Technology on September 11, 2023.
This document serves as a foundation for innovative and unique approaches in Germany for the university-level education of prospective teachers. The overarching goal is to guide more students successfully to their first state examination while simultaneously offering prospects for later deployment in the region of southwest Saxony.
Specifically, two new focal points in teacher training at Chemnitz University of Technology are to be established:
1. To counter the shortage of specialist teachers in the MINT fields (mathematics, informatics, natural sciences, technology), the declared goal is to design the appropriate bachelor's degree program in this field in such a way that recognition for teaching at secondary schools is possible. Furthermore, Chemnitz University of Technology is examining the development of a teaching degree program in MINT teaching at secondary schools in cooperation with the University of Leipzig or TU Dresden. The associated internships are to be completed in the region of southwest Saxony.
2. To expand the professional opportunities of future primary school teachers in the region of southwest Saxony, Chemnitz University of Technology is developing a master's program called "Primary Level Plus" (two semesters). Graduates of the primary school teaching degree program can initially enroll in this program in the subject of mathematics, thereby obtaining qualification for secondary school mathematics teaching. Current mathematics teachers at primary schools can also enroll in this new program in the future, thus qualifying for teaching at secondary schools.
After the signing of the cornerstone document, Minister of Science Sebastian Gemkow said: "We are taking entirely new paths in teacher education, specifically oriented towards concrete needs. For this, we are providing additional resources for Chemnitz University of Technology. For the conceptualization, a total of 285,000 euros will be made available this year and next year. For the implementation starting from the winter semester of 2024/2025, more than 530,000 euros are planned annually. We must succeed in having sufficient teachers in front of the classes again in the future. The universities in Saxony are making a major contribution to this, and we are doing everything we can to support them."
Minister of Education Christian Piwarz added: "Our measures for recruiting teachers are having an effect. We are increasingly successful in filling vacancies at primary schools. However, this is more difficult at secondary schools and in MINT subjects. With the now jointly assembled package of measures, we are advancing teacher education in this area. The studies will become more attractive, permeable, and regional." The Minister emphasized that both responsible ministries will remain in constant exchange with the universities to examine further measures for improvement. "We cannot afford to lose well-trained young teachers on their way to graduation. We are taking care of that!"
Vice President Prof. Dr. Maximilian Eibl said: "The primary school teacher training at Chemnitz University of Technology is a success story, which has already entered its tenth year, and to which we are now adding another chapter. Through the cornerstone document signed today, we have a conceptual framework to design the teacher training at Chemnitz University of Technology for the first time with a view to qualifying secondary school teachers in MINT subjects."
(Source: Press release of the SMWK / Translation: Brent Benofsky)