Education Minister Jan Björklund. Photo: Thomas Johansson/Scanpix
Science and math teachers could earn more

Teacher certification could increase wage gap

According to Education Minister Jan Björklund, science and math teachers will get higher salaries than teachers of other subjects when the new teacher certification program takes effect next autumn.

The government decided today to channel almost US$ 25 million to bolster teaching in math and science. The money will be given to the Swedish National Agency for Education to improve teaching in these subjects over the next five years.

"Students do pretty well in languages. But results have been declining in subjects like science, math and engineering in the past 20 years," Björklund, chairman of the centre-right coalition's Liberal Party, told Swedish Radio News. "That is why we are focusing on improving classes in these areas."

"Too few are drawn to teaching. They choose to work in the private sector instead," he said.

Björklund said he thinks salaries for science and math teachers will improve with certification. Starting in the autumn of 2013 only certified teachers will be able to set grades.

"It's going to be harder to hire teachers who aren't certified in the future, and this can help boost salaries in these subjects," Björklund said.

Today teacher salaries are about the same among the various subjects. "The certification program should make it easier to attract teachers of math and science with a higher salary," Björklund said.

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