Minister of Education, Science and Culture, Lilja Alfreðsdóttir introduced new measures today in accordance with the government’s policy statement on education, RÚV reports. This means that come next fall, master students in their final year of teaching studies for elementary school and kindergarten will get paid for their internship. They will also be able to apply for a study grant, with the government planning to spend up to 250 million ISK on the study grants alone. Furthermore, the University of Iceland and the University of Akureyri will both receive grants to increase the number of teachers who specialise in job-related guidance
The ministry is also looking into possibilities to support students in other teaching fields, such as would-be high-school-, music- and art teachers, as well as looking into how to further stimulate the growth of teacher numbers, for example through the Icelandic Student Loan Fund, LÍN.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, only 28% of those workings in kindergartens now are certified teachers. Around 1.800 positions need to be filled in order to fulfil legal obligations of the proportions of educated teachers in kindergartens in the country.
Numbers of elementary school and kindergarten teacher students reduced by 40% between 2008 and 2018. The measures of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture are designed to change this development. At the current rate, however, elementary schools will need to fill around 1.200 teaching positions with unschooled teachers in four years, meaning that their percentage would rise from 8.6% in 2017 to 25%.