Must make an effort for English teachers

Teachers subjects higher skillsIllustration.Teacher. Photo: ulrichw /

Municipalities must make an effort for English teachers

In several Norwegian counties, almost half of the English teachers lack the competence that the Norwegian Government requires of them by 2025.

Figures from the Education Directorate and Ministry of Education show this.

On a nationwide basis, there are 9,200 English teachers who lack specialisation, that is, 39 per cent of those who teach the subject. In all Norwegian counties, it is also in this subject where the difference is the largest. In Telemark, half of the English teachers lack the competence that in six years will be required. In East Agder, the proportion is 45 per cent, while in West Agder and Rogaland, it is 43 per cent.

The application deadline for those who wish to take further education in Norwegian, mathematics and English, and thus get the specialisation level that the Government require of them, expires on March 1st.

In mathematics, almost 9,000 lack the required level of skill. In the Norwegian language, the corresponding number is 7,000.

Many must apply

“It is important that we maintain the tempo; and that many candidates apply,” Member of the Education Committee, Guri Melby (Liberals), tells NTB.

“We spend NOK 1.6 billion on this. The reason we prioritise this so much is that we know that the competence of teachers is crucial for the learning progress of students,” she continues.

“Can we see that the focus on further education has affected the results in school?”

“This is a complex area to research,” she answers.

“We have, On the other hand, studies that show that teachers change their teaching practices when they have participated in further education, Melby continues.

The further education program is in part financed by the state, and partly by the municipalities. The teachers also contribute, with some of their own time.

Going Dutch

More than 27,000 teachers have been offered further education in Norwegian, English or mathematics since 2014. Last year, 10,000 potential candidates applied for the scheme. The scheme is a collaboration between the municipalities and the state. 7,200 were accepted. It is the municipalities who decide who may participate.

The requirement for competence is the brainchild of the Conservatives. It was adopted by the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) in 2015. It was accompanied by large protests from professional organisations. In the opposition, there are likewise fears that strict requirements of competence will contribute to teachers no longer being able to teach subjects. Subjects in which they have a lot of experience. If that turns out to be the case, it will lead to a lack of teachers in the future.