Sarah *, 30 years old, 1800 fr. monthly salary at best. Adèle *, 38 years old, mother of three children, 4000 fr. monthly income in 2019, 0 fr. in 2020. Antoine *, 31, has accepted two years of unpaid internships to be admitted to training. Three examples among others, according to the Association of Students in Secondary Teacher Training (AEFES), which illustrate the growing precariousness of future teachers. Each year, the university master’s degree in secondary education welcomes some 300 students. Already in possession of a master’s degree, and for many with many years of replacement, they find themselves in a device that drastically limits their income, denounces the AEFES. During the two years of training, students must do a paid internship in the first year and another, which is not necessarily salaried, in the second year. But now, over the years, the number of internships in responsibility has shrunk. “Currently, in the 1st year, 30% of internships are not paid. In 2nd, it is the 90% which is concerned ”, denounces Pierre-Hugues Meyer, president of the AEFES.
Added to this problem is the limitation of paid replacement hours that students are allowed to do. While before their training, they can work as much as they want, once admitted to the master’s degree, only six weekly hours are accepted. At the same time, “the replacement services of Geneva schools are obliged to call on untrained students, who can, for their part, work as many weekly hours as they wish,” points out the association.
“However, underlines Pierre-Hugues Meyer, the trainees are no longer 20-year-olds, who still live with their parents. The majority of students are in their thirties and more than one leads a family life. ” As a result, some, like Antoine, registered as unemployed, plan to quit the course if they find a stable job, others teach in private establishments or work alongside their training. The AEFES sent an open letter to the Department of Public Education (DIP), the Grand Council and the political parties. It demands the abolition of the limitation on replacement hours and “the payment, from next year, of an income for all teacher-trainees equivalent to at least 50%, regardless of the precise terms of their internship” .
The Department of Public Education says it is aware of the situation and regrets it. “Any request can be studied, answers Pierre-Antoine Preti, communications officer, but the department’s room for maneuver is very limited.” He concluded by recalling that 80% of master’s students are then directly hired for an indefinite period after their training.
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