DOE flooded with applications, but many don’t meet requirements

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Last week we told you about a teacher shortage in our public schools. The teachers’ union called it a crisis.

Now we’ve learned thousands of people from around the world have applied for the job, many of them wanting to work in Hawaii.

But are they qualified and will the swarm of applications help the DOE fill positions by the next school year?

The online buzz from blogs and travel websites has flooded the Department of Education with thousands of applications, but it’s also creating a challenge for the department because there are so many candidates who don’t even meet the requirements and many who don’t even live in the country.

People from all over the world are applying for teaching jobs after word spread quickly online about positions available in paradise.

The department says 8,352 people from 98 countries have registered on the DOE’s website, and 4,993 of them have finished applications.

“I saw one that said, ‘I’m a hairdresser. What kind of job do you have for me?'” said department spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz.

The DOE is anticipating 1,200 to 1600 vacancies throughout the next school year.

Before the online publicity, officials would get 20 to 25 applications a day for teaching positions in Hawaii. Some of these jobs are located in hard-to-fill rural areas.

On Monday, 633 applications were received, but Dela Cruz says some of the applicants have no or very little teaching experience.

The DOE has had to pull extra staff to sort through the emails and applications. Here’s a look at some of the messages officials have received (copied and pasted without edits):“At the moment I am working as a teacher of French and I also cover Enhlish classes in a primary school in London.”“Applying for teacher in hawaii is there an age limit? What are other requirements to be meet. and benefits.”“As a  Dentist graduated from Egypt with german citizenship, Can i work in my field There?”“Tengo oportunidad de aplicar para alguno de los puestos que ofertan? Qué más debo hacer?”“Do you hire Canadians?”

“It morphed into something that is out of control, so to bring in the amount of staff to deal with these bogus applications has been frustrating for our staff, because we really want to make sure we get the best and the brightest,” Dela Cruz said.

The department says some of the reasons for vacancies include retirements, other job opportunities, relocations or personal reasons, and annual teacher turnover rate is just over eight percent.

Officials add that they’ve received several applications from candidates already living on Oahu who meet the requirements, and will not provide work visas.

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