RIGA - One-and-a-half weeks before the start of the new school year, there are 385 vacancies for teachers in Riga, according to data available from the Education, Culture and Sports Department of the Riga City Council.
There are shortages of teachers in a number of primary and secondary schools as well as in preschools. Preschools are short of 107 teachers, while primary schools are short of 42 teachers. The majority of vacancies are for mathematics teachers - 39, Latvian language teachers - 35, English language and music teachers - 18, and physics teachers - 13.
By contrast, the demand is the lowest for teachers of economics, French, biology, history, science, sports and geography.
As reported, Education and Science Minister Ilga Suplinska (New Conservative Party) said earlier that there are about 500 vacancies at schools.
The minister said that shortage of teachers might become a huge problem in some five years when a large part of the teachers – 30-40 percent – will near the retirement age. “If young teachers do not join the sector, the policy is not changes, this might turn into an acute situation,” said Suplinska.