Teachers are considered a profession that provides a stable life in China. But, according to NTD, amid the economic recession, and social instability, the number of applicants for a teacher’s degree in China has increased nearly 70 times in 10 years.

Statistics from China’s Ministry of Education show that the total number of full-time teachers in China has increased by 26%, from more than 14 million in 2012 to more than 18 million in 2021.

In those 10 years, the number of people registered to take the test to get a teacher’s license increased from more than 170,000 to more than 11 million people, a 66-fold increase.

Liu, a retired teacher, believes that the sharp increase in the number of applicants to become teachers is related to the difficulty in finding a job and the sluggish economic situation in China.

After the number of people applying to become teachers skyrocketed, so did the competition. In China’s first-class cities, it is not uncommon for those with doctorates and master’s qualifications to apply as teachers in primary and secondary schools.

For example, the Shanghai Middle School received applications from 18 teachers in 2022, of which eight were Ph.D. students and nine were graduate students.

Chinese-Australian historian Li Yuanhua said that China’s economy is stagnating, and companies are laying off or limiting hiring. With nowhere to go, workers can only go to school to apply for a teacher’s certificate.

However, NTD reported that many localities had financial difficulties due to the economic downturn, so many places have owed salaries and cut bonuses and allowances of teachers.

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