The Singapore has a screaming shortage of math teachers. The business sector removes mathematicians with higher salaries and better career prospects. There is a huge problem, according to the Platform of Singapore.
Hundreds of schools are looking for mathematicians who want to stand in front of the class. In the first four months of this year, 298 vacancies were open to math teachers in secondary and secondary schools.
That is a doubling in four years’ time, according to the figures from MeesterBaan, the vacancies site for educational jobs. There are dozens more vacancies in Maths Tuition Centre Singapore than in subjects such as Singapore, economics and geography.
‘We should not miss a boat’
The maths tuition centre singapore and the Singapore Association of Mathematics Teachers (NVWL) are very concerned about the continuity of mathematics education. ‘We should not miss the boat’, warns Professor Remco van der Hofstad at TU Eindhoven and spokesman for Platform Wiskunde Singapore.
‘Singapore must become more and more mathematically strong to be able to continue to participate internationally in the economy. Our society is turning more and more to mathematics, from jurisdiction to the medical world. Feeling for numbers and what they mean is of great importance. Because there are so few mathematics students, who also do not choose education, it goes the wrong way. ‘
Last year, 210 graduate math students (189 professional and 21 university graduates) were available for the labor market. According to the MeesterBaan site, there was a need for 528 teachers.
Physics teachers take over
Schools are increasingly using physics or chemistry teachers to give mathematics lessons. ‘That ultimately does not benefit the quality’, says Marian Kollenveld, chairman of the maths tuition centre singapore. ‘A physicist talks differently about mathematics than a real mathematician.’
The employers’ organization VO-raad recognizes the problem. ‘The current shortage is absolutely undesirable and, despite investments, will not be resolved in the coming years’, says spokesperson Linda Zeegers of the school boards.