Sami Student-Teacher Ratio

Kevin Johansen
School, teaching
Publication year: 

There is little quantitative knowledge about the Sami student-teacher ratio in Norway. Many hold that there is a considerable shortage of Sami teachers and others have claimed that Sami teachers lack formal teaching accreditation. This article surveys the number of South, Lule and North Sami teachers there are in Norway at the primary, lower secondary and upper secondary school levels.

The article also registers the formal competency of each Sami teacher in both pedagogy and Sami language. The survey shows that many Sami teachers lack formal pedagogical qualifications when compared to other teachers in Norway. At the same time, we see that formal competence in the language is at a very high level.

The student-teacher ratio for Lule Sami is high. It is at the same level as for the rest of Nordland and actually higher than that in Bodø. This shows that there is a clear shortage of teachers with competence in Lule Sami.

The lower student-teacher ratio for North and South Sami makes the situation not as precarious in the short term. However, the average age of Sami teachers point to a significant number of them retiring in the next ten years, and the number of applicants to Sami teacher training has been extremely low. Therefore, if recruitment to Sami teacher education does not significantly increase, we risk having much fewer Sami teachers in 10-20 years than today.