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School chaos continues, thousands still without teachers

schoolThousands of pupils in Portugal’s schools have no teachers in many subjects as the chaotic allocation of teaching staff continues to disrupt the education system.

This year’s mishandling of the allocation already has seen one head roll, that of Mário Agostinho Alves Pereira, whose ‘resignation’ was accepted by an increasingly vulnerable Education Minister, Nuno Crato.

Pereira, Director General of School Administration since 2009, took the blame for the mess by admitting he “incorrectly applied a formula” used in allocating jobs in an archaic, illogical and over-complicated system for both the school heads and the national pool of teachers.

Such is the mess that it now appears that hundreds of teachers who actually were given a post now will have to change schools despite having been teaching for nearly a month, while others are still waiting to be placed.

Many schools have given up asking children to attend, there seems little point when there is nobody in the classroom to teach them.

Thousands of teachers gathered in Lisbon last weekend to voice their opinion of the Government’s education policy and to demand the resignation of Minister Nuno Crato. The gathering conveniently was part of World Teachers’ Day taking place on Sunday.

With demands for the Justice Minister to resign, and now the Education Minister, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho needs to act as his current lack of leadership in these two key and highly visible areas is further damaging his own image.

Buoyant trade figures and increasing tourist income is not enough to get Coelho relected next year when justice and education are in the hands of such incompetents.


0 #5 Lynne de S 2014-10-12 15:47
I was interested to read today of the teachers and school situation. In the Faro area there are no text books. Teachers have been told to make photocopies of books for every student but, guess what, there is no money for printer ink!

Additionally, the Faro Bombeiros have been given no money for the last two years and do not even have the basics of boots, gloves and helmets. And then we have the fiasco of the roads where we have the worst potholes ever seen for the past four years with no end in sight.

I am wondering where the 70 million euros has gone which was given by the EU some months ago for the restoration of old buildings in Faro. I also wonder why their priority is to build a new bridge to the Faro praia at enormous expense when children have no books, we have no protection from forest fires snd we take our life in our hands when we drive on the roads in this area. Something is very wrong and it is not just the economy.
+2 #4 Davida 2014-10-08 14:58
Ask any Portuguese student on a business studies type course if they have had substantial 'work experience' as part of it - say several months placement - and they will look blank.

Which is unfortunate as it minimises any semblance of 'apprenticeships'. No chance of real life reports and summaries to feed back into the business. So helping educate and train both the student and the management.

Is the root problem that the 'friends and family' culture is so strong ?

That those well connected will settle into the family businesses. Which will have their 'secret' ways of doing things and not want outsiders seeing them - those not well connected can 'Ryanair'.
+2 #3 Peter Booker 2014-10-08 08:27
Picking up on Ric´s remark, we were once told by a graduate of the University of the Algarve that within her three year degree course, the material for two of the years was identical, because there were not enough teachers to teach a different third year.

Clearly the education itself suffers.
+3 #2 Karel 2014-10-07 18:21
The problem is not new - I live here for 12 years and I hear every year the same song. Meaning NOBODY is taking lessons out of the mistakes that are made. Normal in Portugal as nobody is interested in "serious matters". That explains the exteremely low degree of education of the youth... Another "wasted generation" ????
+4 #1 Ric 2014-10-07 17:30
This annual farce has been going on since my kids were at school a decade ago.
In a similar vein once past secondary school the University allocation is equally chaotic giving students only a couple of days to organise accommodation after acceptance.

If the authorities can't organise an education system then what chance of the actual education itself?