One-in-six teachers have left Sweden’s third city of Malmö in just a few months, as the number of schoolchildren in the area is expected to leap by nearly 42 per cent in the next decade.
The population of Malmö has already grown by 50 per cent in the past 20 years, largely thanks to mass migration, and the number of schoolchildren in the city is expected to surge from 31,000 to 44,000 in the next ten years.
Around 43 per cent of Malmö’s population of 317,000 has a foreign background. Iraqi migrants and their descendants, numbering around 40,000, form the largest single group, The Guardian reports.
According to Sydsvenskan, 17 per cent of primary school teachers left the municipality between January and October of this year.
To compound matters, nearly one in three teachers recruited in Malmö today are either not fully qualified or are called in as substitutes.
The problem is not limited to education, either. Last year, a record 11 per cent from all professional categories in the public sector left their workplace in the town.
Police in particular have been leaving the city in record numbers and the force is struggling to cope. The city has recently come to international attention as it experienced a huge crime wave and gang warfare.
Because of increasing “diversity”, the university of Malmö is opening courses called “Learning and Teaching in Multicultural Schools” in 2017 to help teachers cope with the rapid change.
The course offers teachers “strategies and methods for teaching/learning in multiethnic and multilingual settings” and cover “migration and national and minority group identity” and “world philosophies, religions, ideologies and value systems in the Swedish classroom”.
Last year, one secondary school in the city was closed after the teachers’ union declared that it is too dangerous a place for students and teachers to attend due to widespread violence and criminality. A spokesman for the city told media: “Violence, threats and verbal abuse. There has also been trouble with students from other schools”.