Once again, our future teachers look like they will dumber than most of the students that they teach. With universities, once again, lowering the education level standard of new entrants into Education Degrees, has nobody yet seen that maybe, just maybe, THIS might be part of the reason that our student results continually to fare so abysmally in international rankings?
It’s not because we have a shortage of teachers that we have to lower the bar to attract more people into the profession. In fact, there are 1000s more teachers in the system in Australia than there are positions for them to fill. It’s because of greedy universities. After all, they’re a business out to make a profit. As, like a lot of businesses, when that profit it threatened they either have to make their product cheaper or reduce the quality of the product. And that’s what’s happening here. They argue that fewer people are taking teaching degrees, but that’s because the prospects of a job at the end of it are so weak due to the surplus number of teachers already out there.
I think that the Government needs to step in and enforce a policy similar to our legal entry immigration policy. In that policy, each year the list of professions in demand in Australia gets adjusted, and points for skills or trades are also adjusted. One year, the country might need more electricians, so the points for that profession go up, it’s easier for electricians to come into the country and society benefits. Next year, it might be builders, or nurses, or whoever. The point is that the country looks at its shortages and its surpluses and adjusts its requirements accordingly. Universities, on the other hand, just keep taking the money and churning out more of what we don’t need. Not a thought is given to the new graduate who now has little chance of a job, possibly has a student loan over their head, and has to find work doing something else entirely. Somebody needs to step in and tell the universities that we don’t need any more teachers for a few years, or however long, so DON’T run the courses; the same goes with other courses.
And when they do run the courses again, for pity sake UP the entry requirements! According to a recent review of the 2019 ATAR entry requirements for teaching degrees in universities, almost 40 per cent of teaching undergraduates entered with an ATAR of less than 70. This number is almost double the number of students who entered teaching degrees with an ATAR of less than 70 in 2016. The story is even worse if you enter the Australian Catholic University, where their ATAR cut-off for 2019 entry was only 48.25 for a Primary Education degree! Is this proof that you don’t need to be clever to be a religious teacher?
It should NOT be easy to get into the teaching profession. The bar should be set extremely high if we want a better product from the other end; both the graduate teachers and the students they will be teaching.