Preschool, Chinese and geography teachers are in demand

A winter job fair, involving some 500 schools that was held at ShanghaiMart on Sunday, highlighted the key shortages.
Dong Jun / SHINE

A Shanghai Transformation Academy official converses with a job seeker at a winter job fair on teacher recruitment.

A winter job fair on teacher recruitment highlighted the need for preschool teachers.

The fair, involving some 500 schools from China's Yangtze River delta region, was held at ShanghaiMart on Sunday.

The baby boom brought on by China's approval of a second-child policy explains the need for preschool teachers, while more geography teachers are required after Shanghai's new "3+3" gaokao (college entrance exams) reform, which places equal emphasis on elective and mandatory subjects.

Jiang Ming, director of the Shanghai Educational Human Resource Exchange and Service Center, said there aren't enough graduates to fill kindergarten posts after the implementation of the second-child policy.

"The kindergarten teachers are truly needed after the second-child policy takes effect," said an official, surnamed Li, with China Welfare Institute Kindergarten's branch in Jiading District.

Li said more private schools are offering higher payments to preschool teachers, so public schools struggled to fill positions. 

Though preschool education major graduates are still the first choice to fill the gap, Li said the district is now recruiting graduates with related majors. "We provide them with training given by East China Normal University on preschool education."

Chinese teachers in primary schools and geography teachers in high schools are also in demand.

Officials from Weihai Road No. 3 Primary School told Shanghai Daily that those teaching Chinese usually also serve as the class adviser. Each class needs to have a Chinese teacher — which means they are in particular demand.

For high schools, the gaokao reform, means geography teachers are required as more students choose geography as one of their elective subjects. 

To attract good teachers, some suburban districts are offering housing subsidies on rents or help with buying a property.

"Jiading District has about 800 vacancies this year, the highest in history," said Zhu Ying, who works for district's educational human resource exchange and service center. "We provide house-buying subsidies for doctors and masters meeting standards and house-renting subsidies for the rest, usually 1,200 yuan  (US$180) a month for a master and 800 yuan for a bachelor."

Zhu, a 25-year-old senior postgraduate with an education major, said he is attracted by the suburban districts' policies to recruit highly skilled educational personnel.

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