Government unveils new plan to employ university-level maths and science teachers in high schools

9 July 2018

Government unveils new plan to employ university-level maths and science teachers in high schools

Every high school in Australia will have to employ maths and science teachers who have studied the topics at a university level under a new Federal Government plan.

The Government has stated that currently not enough teachers are passionate and knowledgeable about the subjects.

Statistically, the Government said that in 2013 one in five science teachers who taught years 7–10 had not completed even one year of university study in that area.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham said that he hoped the new plan would encourage more students in high school to take maths and science classes.

“It’s not just about knowledge of content,” Senator Birmingham said.

“It’s also about ensuring students are inspired to stick with maths, to stick with the sciences, so that they continue right through their schooling years and hopefully into further studies to give us more skilled scientists and more people skilled in the STEM disciplines.”

The reason for the change has come after a report by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, which found that the number of students choosing to take science has dropped from 55% in 2002 to 51% in 2013.

While the number of maths students overall has stayed at a steady 71%, the report said that this was because pupils were moving towards easier level maths.

Jenni Webber from the Australian Science Teacher’s Association said the organisation welcomed the move, but said that integrating the changes for teachers in primary school levels would also be a huge benefit, that would make high-schoolers more passionate about the subjects earlier on.

“That’s where students’ passion begins,” she said.

“If we don’t hook them in those early years, it’s very difficult to get them excited about science, maths, and STEM later on.”