Ruth Davidson confronted the Cardinal Minister with figures showing there are 4,000 fewer professionals since the SNP better b concluded to power in 2007.
The Tory leader warned the problem is compounded by a dwindling supply docent stock.
Numbers have halved in Edinburgh while Glasgow has dissolute 1,000 supply teachers, according to figures obtained through carte blanche of information requests.
Ms Davidson accused the Nationalists of “falling asleep at the at over the last decade” on teacher recruitment.
She mocked claims from the SNP number one that education was her priority amid her drive for another independence referendum, sooner than asking: “Separation or education, which is it First Minister?”
Ms Davidson supplemented: “We face a crisis in classrooms across Scotland and Nicola Sturgeon be obliged sort out her priorities.”
To jeers from the opposition benches, Ms Sturgeon claimed the Tory chief “tries to shoe horn in reference to the constitution” at “every opportunity”.
She required teacher numbers had “fluctuated” in line with pupil numbers, but allow to entered there are teacher recruitment challenges in parts of the country.
The First Churchman said: “We are taking a range of actions to make sure that we set up the right number of teachers in our schools.”
She highlighted 11 new routes of collect people into teaching to attract the “best and brightest” into the calling, as well as close consultation with the General Teaching Council on rising supply lists.
The Scottish Government is giving £120m direct to headteachers, exploiting attainment challenge funding and introducing standardised assessments to equip schoolteachers with more information, Ms Sturgeon added.