Schwerin (dpa / mv) – Lateral entrants to the teaching profession should in future complete an extra-occupational preparatory service. Education Minister Bettina Martin (SPD) announced on Tuesday after the cabinet meeting in Schwerin that this is a mandatory qualification and comparable to the legal clerkship. The round of ministers had approved the intended amendment to the Teacher Education Act, which is now going to the state parliament for advice.
Due to the increasing shortage of teachers, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had started to increasingly take on academics without pedagogical training in the school service. The opposition had repeatedly complained that these lateral entrants were and are often insufficiently prepared for working with schoolchildren.
So far, according to the Ministry of Education, side entry teachers can only apply for recognition of their teaching qualifications after five to ten years in school service. Until then, they were earning less money than their colleagues with regular teacher training. With the change in the Teacher Education Act, their prospects have now improved.
According to the Ministry of Education, 1,344 teachers at public general and vocational schools in the state were lateral entrants at the beginning of the current school year. That corresponds to a share of around 11 percent. Two years earlier, this proportion of the 11,300 teachers in the country was still eight percent.
Martin described the change in the law as a first important step to reorganize teacher training. A major innovation is that the state and the universities are now setting annual target agreements for admission capacities in teacher training courses, “which are based on the school-type and subject-specific planning for teacher requirements”. At the beginning of the 2020/2021 winter semester, 40 additional study places were set up for prospective vocational school teachers and 125 for future primary school teachers.