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Kindergartens and teachers are in short supply

THE city is facing a shortage of kindergarten teachers due to a sustained baby boom, Shanghai Education Commission said yesterday.

About 400,300 children are registered at 1,252 kindergartens this year and 31 percent of them are non-locals. The number is expected to grow to 500,000 in 2013 with 44.24 percent of non-locals.

The city will add 100 new kindergartens, hire 8,000 more teachers and 3,000 more child-care workers in the next two years to meet the student-teacher ratio of 15:1.
However, kindergartens now find it hard to recruit qualified teachers with a major in education or an ability to sing and dance during the latest Yangtze Delta Education Job Fair.

"We are providing free accommodations, free meals and a monthly subsidy to attract teachers," said Hang Xinfang, the principal of Hengsha Kindergarten in the city's Chongming County.

But many college graduates are unwilling to work in suburban kindergartens which are in dire need of teachers.

Unlicensed kindergartens have cropped up recently in Shanghai's outlying Jiading and Minhang districts as well as Chongming County as the city's migrant population keeps growing.

Huang said her kindergarten had to lower requirements for an applicant's education and working experience.

A growing demand for kindergartens began in 2005 and is expected to last for eight years. Local kindergartens enrolled about 400,000 children last year and the number will reach 500,000 in 2018.

Some primary schools also reported an increase in enrollment and are looking for more of teachers.

China's first crop of tuition-free college students in education major will graduate this summer and work as teachers for at least 10 years as required. Most of them are now hunting for jobs now.

Shi Hongchao, a graduating student of East China Normal University, said that most of them are unwilling to work in a primary school or a kindergarten due to poor career development potential.


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