Maths graduates and teaching posts
A chara, – Regarding Prof Ted Hurley’s call for newly qualified maths graduates to be offered a bonus to pursue teaching, perhaps a more appropriate incentive would be the prospect of a career as a maths teacher (“Call to pay maths graduates bonus to go into teaching”, January 11th).
Unfortunately the reality for most recently qualified maths teachers is that they face years of career uncertainty in casual, part-time employment in our schools, often looking at unemployment at the end of May each year.
As a result, many take their degrees and education qualifications to England or the Middle East where there are prospects of full-time, permanent employment.
Others, disillusioned with the lack of opportunity for full-time employment in education, have changed direction and moved towards careers in finance or technology.
I wonder if the University of Limerick, which is offering courses in order to upskill maths graduates to teaching qualification standards, has compiled any data regarding the success of its own education and maths graduates in obtaining full-time employment in Ireland. Likewise, does the Teaching Council have any data on the types of contracts being offered to the 5,000 teachers on its professional register who satisfy the subject criteria for maths?
Prof Hurley makes the point that while almost half of the maths and education graduates of NUIG who went into teaching got permanent positions in the UK, those who stayed in Ireland were in temporary or part-time posts.
Ireland is losing its maths and education graduates simply because their career prospects here are very poor. A €5,000 bonus is no substitute for a full-time secure position in a school. – Is mise,