Unearthed footage suggests that even 80 years ago there was a maths skills shortage

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An excerpt from an informational film from the 1940s warning of the lack of qualified teachers has been unearthed on YouTube.

The dramatization shows children in a classroom, eagerly listening to a maths teacher.

Music plays in the background of the clip as a voiceover begins: “True democracy can exist only among our people prepared from childhood for the responsibilities of citizenship.

“Recognising this fact, the American people have built up over the generations, a vast nationwide system of public schools intended to give every child in the United States the opportunity for a thorough education.

“US schools have been forced to hire some 125,000 emergency teachers who lack the qualification ordinarily required in their state.

“Some of them never got beyond the primary grades and most of them have had no professional training for their jobs.”