More than 40% of teachers will be retired by 2030

The shortage of teachers, which already represents a headache in the school network, is likely to worsen over the next few years since more than 40% of permanent teachers could retire by 2030, learned The newspaper.

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This estimate was made in recent months by Maurice Tardif, director of the Center for Interuniversity Research on Training and the Teaching Profession (CRIFPE), in collaboration with Geneviève Sirois, who is also part of it.

They analyzed the only data available to the Ministry of Education regarding the age groups of teachers, which go back to 2015. The average retirement age being around 63 in Quebec, the researchers come to the conclusion that between 27,000 and 32,000 teachers will leave their classes by 2030, which represents more than 40% of permanent teachers in the Quebec school network (see box).

“It’s huge,” drops Ms. Sirois.

This number does not even take into account the 14,000 teachers in private schools, nor the impact of the pandemic which caused experienced teachers to leave their classrooms earlier than expected.

Navigate by sight

Although “imperfect”, these figures are the only ones available so far, indicates Ms. Sirois.

The Ministry of Education has no figures on this subject, which is “completely absurd”, according to this professor from TÉLUQ. “How can we try to find solutions to a problem that we don’t know about?” she asks.

In the absence of official figures, the researchers therefore tried “to gather the pieces of robot” and to establish a portrait “by making them hold with sticky paper”, she illustrates.

In response to one of their requests for access to information, the Ministry of Education indicated that it had no data on the number of early retirements within ten years among teachers, inviting them instead to contact each of the 72 school service centers on this subject.

Even more students

While new education retirees will number in the thousands by 2030, the number of students will continue to rise during this period. The ministry foresees an increase of around 1%, a figure which does not however take into account the creation of new 4-year-old kindergarten classes.

Ms. Sirois also points out that the demographic forecasts of the Ministry of Education are “always” below the real increase since new students from immigration are underestimated.

The storm therefore looks perfect and in several service centers it has already started. According to the most recent figures available, there is still a shortage of 140 full-time teachers in Quebec schools, not counting all the other part-time positions to be filled. The number of non-legally qualified teachers has more than tripled in five years.

The recent initiatives put in place by the Legault government to respond to the shortage seem to be giving mixed results. La Presse reported last week that of the 6,000 applications received as part of the “Reply now” recruitment campaign, only 600 people had been hired as teachers as of September 2.

With the increase in the number of teenagers who will pass through the doors of schools over the next few years, “the national emergency” will be felt above all in secondary school, specifies Ms. Sirois.

Retirement of teachers by 2030

At primary

In high school


Total number of teachers in the school network

* Permanent teachers in the public network – preschool, primary and secondary levels – as well as vocational training and general education for adults.

Source: Maurice Tardif, data updated in collaboration with Geneviève Sirois, from the Center for Interuniversity Research on Training and the Teaching Profession (CRIFPE).

What solutions?

The newspaper met with experts and stakeholders in the education network, looking for solutions to the teacher shortage.

Facilitate the presence in class of future teachers

Several stakeholders agree that university training must be adapted to enable future teachers to teach during their training. The Quebec Federation of Educational Establishment Directors even demands that a student be able to teach full-time in the school network after completing two years of his baccalaureate, out of a total of four.

The future teacher should however be supervised in the same way as during his internships, so that the hours worked count in his training. The theoretical courses to be completed could be taken in the evenings, on weekends or during a summer semester.

In Abitibi-Témiscamingue and on the North Shore, measures have already been put in place to allow students to complete their training part-time, while working in schools with students.

Even more mentoring

In recent years, a mentoring program has been set up for new teachers, so that fewer of them leave classes during their first years of teaching.

However, the $5 million that are devoted to it annually represent only “sprinkling”, deplores the Autonomous Federation of Education (FAE). There are likely to be many more experienced teachers mentoring new or unqualified teachers, according to teachers’ unions.

Moreover, school service centers should be more flexible with them, says Mélanie Hubert, president of the FAE. Several experienced teachers have retired after being refused part-time work, she laments.

Leave them teachers teach

Several teachers would like to be relieved of bureaucratic or related tasks to have more time to teach, according to the Federation of Education Unions (FSE-CSQ).

Local initiatives would benefit from being put in place so that teachers spend less time supervising or dealing with various committees, says its president, Josée Scalabrini.

At the secondary level in particular, teaching periods could thus be freed up. However, it remains to find the staff to fill the other tasks.

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The article is in French

Tags: teachers retired

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