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November 19, 2013

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Home » Metro » Education

Pregnancies cause school staff shortages

Songjiang District is facing another shortage of teachers as many female graduates it recruited in the past five years to meet the needs of migrant and relocated residents are reaching the age when many Chinese women have children.

Songjiang has recruited more than 2,000 graduates in the past five years and 90 percent are women who are now in their late 20s, an age when Chinese women usually get married and have babies, said Xia Changlai, director of the basic education department of Songjiang District Education Bureau.

At Songjiang Jiuting Primary School, 13 out of a total of about 100 teachers are pregnant this year, leading to concerns among parents over whether using substitute teachers will affect teaching quality.

“Some parents were very angry and asked why we didn’t hire teachers who’d already had a child,” said Zhang Qing, vice principal of Jiuting Primary School.

Zhang said the school couldn’t hire more teachers because the quota of teachers is limited for each school. It could either ask the other teachers to take over a class or borrow teachers from other schools.

The problem is not rare in Songjiang, which has built many new schools to meet the educational need of migrant and relocated families amid the rapid urbanization process.

Xia said the bureau is aware of the problem but has few solutions because there are more female graduates than male.

Songjiang now recruits about 400 teachers every year. By 2015, more teachers will be required as the district will open 28 schools, from kindergartens to high schools, to meet demand.



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