The economic recession could lead more men to opt for a career in the classroom, an assembly member has suggested.
Former headmaster and Ulster Unionist MLA Ken Robinson said he was very concerned that so few men were pursuing a career in teaching.
"This has led to a lack of male role models in schools," he said.
Mr Robinson said the financial crisis might provide a springboard to bring more men into education.
"We need to end the perception that teaching is women's work," he said.
"The present financial crisis could provide a good springboard to begin the recruitment of young men into the teaching profession."
Mr Robinson called on teacher training colleges and universities in Northern Ireland to help address what he called "the considerable imbalance between the sexes in their current intakes".