Josep Alemany, Erasmus + DigitalTA (2022-25) project coordinator, recently participated together with Jiří Kropáč, teacher and pedagogue, in the educational conference “TCA: Initial Teacher Education” organized in Belgrade by Foundation Tempus, the Erasmus+ national agency of Serbia, to showcase the progress of the project.
The conference aimed to explore European initiatives related to early education and to address the shortage of teaching professionals. During the two days of October 30 and 31, European initiatives related to initial education were discussed (presenting, for example, the Eurydice: Teachers in Europe report) and overview of national policies, mechanisms, and incentive measures to address staff shortages and attract people into the teaching profession.
The project partners emphasized information from an AFP report on current teaching challenges. Teacher shortages are a concern for countries across Europe, with projections indicating a significant shortage of educators soon. According to AFP, Germany is expected to face a shortfall of 25,000 teachers by 2025, while Portugal foresees a shortage of 30,000 teachers by 2030, according to national estimates. France currently has 4,000 vacancies, further highlighting the seriousness of the problem. Régis Malet, Professor of Education at the University of Bordeaux (France), attributes this shortage to several factors, such as low salaries, deteriorating working conditions, and lack of recognition of the teaching profession.
The problem with teaching resources has generated greater efforts to address it through the “Erasmus+ Teacher Academies” of which DigitalTA is a member. This action promotes the creation of networks of teachers and trainers, knowledge sharing, and mobility while providing learning opportunities.
Josep Alemany expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunity to present the DigitalTA project at the Tempus Foundation and to network with colleagues in the European educational field. The success of the project is not only a testament to the dedication of the team but also a step forward in improving teacher training and the quality of education in the European Union. The conference served as a platform for sharing experiences, networking, and disseminating valuable knowledge, reinforcing the commitment to promote excellence in teacher education and support educators across Europe.
The DigitalTA project, led by the Universidad Europea del Atlántico (European University of the Atlantic, UNEATLANTICO) and in which the Iberoamerican University Foundation (FUNIBER) participates, is currently developing the digital platform that will enable active and trainee teachers to share their challenges, reflect on their teaching practices, access tutorials, explore case studies, and participate in a vibrant learning community. With its user-friendly interface and comprehensive set of features, the platform aims to foster collaboration, professional growth, and knowledge sharing among educators at different educational levels.