30 Apr 2002

No serious problem with Cook Island teacher shortage

5:03 pm on 30 April 2002

The Cook Islands Teachers Association says the shortage of teachers is not serious and is only a short term problem.

Association president, Fabian Kairua, says the outer islands do have difficulties recruiting teachers because graduates often don't want to stay there long term.

Mr Kairua says there are also other reasons why teachers are leaving the profession.

"I think that there are people who are leaving the counrtry, and also if you look at the primary school level, most of the teachers, who are teaching, are about to retire, they are old age people.Now I'm talking about 50 and over, and I think government is also working hard in trying to fill the gaps, by having the teachers training collge open again,and recruits."

Mr Kairua says he's aware that one college on Rarotonga doesn't have enough maths and science teachers but the positions have been advertised and he's expecting them to be filled.