“Sometimes You Can’t Talk About Education”

Top Swiss teacher: “As a mother, I am very worried”

Ahead of the start of the new school year, German and French-speaking Swiss teaching staff are demanding more support from the federal government and the canton. The ongoing shortage of teachers and the additional challenges posed by the pandemic and the Ukraine war will jeopardize educational success.


According to the media conference of teachers’ unions, “a severe shortage of staff” brings teachers to their limits. Some gaps can be filled by unqualified employees – but this brings new problems.

Teachers sound the alarm when school starts: Due to staff shortages, schools in Switzerland are taking care of children rather than training them. Unqualified teachers are more likely to be an additional burden than a relief.

The federal government and the cantons would also have to act financially. At the start of the school year, several hundred positions were still vacant, the umbrella organization for teachers (LCH) and Syndicate des Ensignant-es Romande-s (SER) in Switzerland told the media in Bern on Monday.

LCH central president Dagmar Rosler explained that even as a mother, she was concerned about the quality of education due to a lack of staff and the stepping in of non-qualified temporary teachers. “Often it’s more about care than education,” she said. It’s not enough for the lesson to be liked by the kids.

temporary emergency solution

Qualified professionals are needed to work in schools. Every child has the right to education. Also equal opportunities should be given. However, this cannot be guaranteed for disadvantaged students with unqualified or inadequately qualified staff.

Rosler accused the cantons, as holders of educational sovereignty, of passively viewing demographic growth: in the baby boom years many teachers are reaching retirement age, the number of students is increasing – which was near.

Instead of dealing with the problem of the next generation of teachers, the cantons have given more and more tasks to the schools. Now there is a need for long-term planning. Like the present “desperate act” must be temporary.

More effort for experienced teachers

SER President David Ray explained that unqualified or insufficiently qualified staff need more support from experienced teachers. In many cases, the perceived relief becomes an additional burden on a teacher who is already overburdened.

It is unacceptable for inexperienced teachers to burn their wings and fail in front of the class. The objective should be to retain qualified teachers in the school. These included modern employment conditions, support for beginners, and an increase in the prestige of the teaching profession.

promote school psychology

Rosler assures that teachers are doing everything they can to fill in the gaps. In the meantime, though, they had grown up a lot. The situation will not be easy after the COVID 19 pandemic, which hardly spared Ukraine’s children and youth.

Teachers are familiar with integration problems and have appropriate resources, such as national language lessons in the morning and regular classes in the afternoon.

However, the school cannot handle integration and support on its own. The federal government and cantons would have to provide additional funding for municipalities. In addition, additional resources are needed for school psychology and social work as Ukrainian children and youth are traumatised.

equitable crisis management

The pandemic has led two teacher unions to conclude that federalism has reached its limits when it comes to developing a common measure. So they join the call of a national worker for future crises.

It should be made up of experts from the federal government and cantons. As a systemically relevant industry, teachers should also have their say in the committee.

School is not only in the classroom, LCH and SER continue to state. Additional learning spaces are central to experiential- and life-oriented learning. To ensure participation in excursions and camps, unions consider discounted day tickets necessary. So a milestone has been reached: SwissPass is offering a day pass for school trips for CHF 15 per person.

Media conference to read:

  • 10.40 am

    media conference is over

    Thank you for your attention!

  • 10:36 am

    Parents Often Don’t Know How Their Children’s Teachers Are Trained

    As the mother of a daughter, Rosler would be concerned if she was tutored by an untrained teacher. A journalist wants to know if there are many complaints from parents who criticize it. Or are there other parents who have private lessons?

    “Surprisingly, we hear very little from parental associations,” Rosler says. However, those who were hired in many places try to keep the ball flat by not communicating with them. “Some parents don’t know how qualified their children’s teachers are.”

    It can be assumed that private schools will be strengthened by weakening primary schools by recruiting less qualified staff. “But we don’t want to let this trend pass.”

  • 10:34 am

    How do you feel about starting school without corona measures?

    Teachers are worried, says David Ray. We are closely monitoring how the situation is developing. If necessary, measures will be supported by the canton and the federal government to prevent schools from being closed again.

  • 10.30 am

    Deficiency more acute in French-speaking Switzerland

    A journalist wants to know which sectors are particularly affected by the shortage of teachers. “Such numbers are missing because cantons are reluctant to publish the information,” Rosler says. Basically, however, there are fewer problems in French-speaking Switzerland, while the cantons of Bern and Aargau have more problems.

  • 10.30 am

    Schwendiman: “Learning happens inside and outside the classroom”

    Head of the LCH Academic Office, Beat A. Schwendimann, now comes at the cost of excursions and classroom camps. School education takes place inside and outside the classroom, emphasizes Schwendiman. These experiences outside the classroom are essential, they are part of basic training. According to the constitution, it must be free of charge, so those responsible are responsible for ensuring that these costs are not passed on to the parents. The teachers union is committed to discounted tickets for classes so that children can learn to use public transportation. So he welcomed progress in politics. Although the bigger target is the “five-liber ticket”, the current stimulus just isn’t enough.

  • 10:25 am

    A lot of misconceptions during the pandemic

    SER Vice President Olivier Solios talks about how schools are dealing with the corona pandemic. If it has its way, teachers should have been more involved in the decision-making process.

    « School was the only place in Switzerland where the rules for 12 year olds and adults were not the same. It caused a lot of misunderstanding.”

    The authorities should also develop a legal base so that the cantons can work together better in the future.

  • 10:22 am

    Antoinette Kilias calls for more resources for school psychology

    Antoinette Kilias, managing director of the LCH Association, now talks with the children of Ukraine about the challenge. “In fact, it’s not an entirely new task that schools have to master here,” she says. The headmaster and teachers will do everything to create a good environment for the children so that they feel comfortable. Relying on different settings has proven useful. There is no point everywhere integrating children directly into the regular classroom; Sometimes it makes sense to have integration classes in which children learn German for half a day. “Integration into school gives children stability”, but more resources are needed for school psychology to absorb potential trauma.

  • 10:18 am

    Less trained teachers have problems

    Now David Ray, board member SER, takes the floor. “Every teacher should be able to rely on a well-established education. The idea that teachers don’t need to be adequately trained has its disadvantages,” he says. There will be more burden on qualified teachers as they will have to help the inexperienced.

    Teaching profession should be made attractive again to motivate the youth to adopt it. Here mentoring should also help so that young teachers can better deal with pressure.

  • 10:13 am

    Rosler on parenting perspective: “I couldn’t sleep peacefully anymore”

    Also there is pressure from parents. “I couldn’t sleep peacefully anymore,” says Dagmar Rosler, if she had known that her daughter was being tutored by unqualified staff. That will probably be the case for many parents across Switzerland. Children have the right to adequate education. Especially those who need special care need well trained teachers.

  • 10:11 am

    Teams can’t patch failures themselves

    “The gap has become so large that they can no longer be filled within the team,” although the commitment within schools to find solutions is great. It also means that there is a heavy burden on committed teachers.

  • 10:09 am

    Rosler: Emergency solutions devalue the teaching profession

    In some cantons, political advances are being made to find out how many people will be in front of classes without adequate training. In Bern it’s about 10 percent, Rosler says. There is a risk that it will devalue emergency response training.

  • 10:08 am

    “Sometimes You Can’t Talk About Education”

    Although there has been a slight reduction in staffing in some sectors, it has to be noted that some positions are also filled by people who are not sufficiently qualified. We are still looking for high pressure teachers. Emergency solutions can be used to ensure the care of children, “in some cases one can no longer speak of education”.

  • 10:06 am

    Rosler: “The shortage of staff is acute”

    The first thing President Dagmar Rosler talks about is the staff shortage, which is “obvious”. “It’s also a very important topic in the new school year, and one that keeps us very busy,” Rosler says. “The quality of education is at risk,” the shortage has been exacerbated by retirement and an increasing number of students. “The teaching worker pays for what has been neglected for so long.” The attractiveness of the profession should be increased.

  • 10 o’clock `clock

    media conference begins

    Dagmar Rösler, president of the Umbrella Organization for Teachers in Switzerland, welcomes media representatives, introduces attendees and clarified organizational questions.

    Teaching staff representative

    • Dagmar Rösler (LCH), president of the umbrella organization for teachers in Switzerland
    • Antoinette Kilias, Managing Director LCH
    • Dr. Head of LCH Academic Office Beat A. schwendiman
    • David Ray, President of the Teachers Association of French-speaking Switzerland (SER)
    • Olivier Solios, Vice President SER
    • Pierre-Alain Poret, SER. board member of

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