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Algarve’s mayors outraged by "chaos in education"

schooladpThe Algarve Intermunicipal Council, comprised of the 16 mayors of the Algarve’s municipalities, have decided publicly to voice their outrage and concern about the situation in the region’s schools.

The mayors are appalled at the way the government has mismanaged the placement of teachers at the beginning of the school year.

"Hampering the start of classes, students' learning, the lives of teachers and above all a serious disturbance that this causes to the stability of families who have children in lessons with no teachers a month after the beginning of term," were some of the comments from Jorge Botelho, Mayor of Tavira and chairman of the Algarve Intermunicipal Council.

"Local councils took care that the school year was started on time and help with school materials, playgrounds, school meals, transport for students, educational materials and a whole host of areas showing the strong municipal involvement in the start of school," said Botelho.

According to data provided by the municipal councils, more than three hundred teaching posts remained unfilled at the Algarve schools at the end of the first week of October, a situationthat has not significantly eased as time goes on and which "denies thousands of students access to the education to which they are entitled."

"This is the fault of the Government, which calls into question our municipal investment and the whole educational process for the students," said Jorge Botelho.

"The beginning of the school year was the most chaotic and disorganised in recent years. The way the government manages the education sector, which is a priority in building a better future for our youth and for our country, has caused the deep indignation of the Algarve's mayors," continued Botelho.

The Algarve Intermunicipal Council considers that the Government "should review its performance" and "reflect on its mistakes in order quickly to find solutions that prevent this happening again and so be able to define a path to prosperity and be seen to care about the future citizens of Portugal."

This year’s mishandling of the teacher allocation already has seen the dismissal of Mário Agostinho Alves Pereira, Director General of School Administration.

The Education Minister’s time is running out also, the Prime Minister mentioned that Nuno Crato will be returning to academia, "but not just yet."

Passos Coelho would do well to time his sackings to gain the maximum political advantage. Too early and the action will be forgotten by polling day next Spring; too late and the cry will be ‘why not sooner?” 

Current targets include Education and Justice.


0 #3 Gerald 2014-10-11 15:49
It would help in Portugal if - in order to stand for Municipal or Freguesia Mayor - a declaration of 'school achievement' (as well as means of employment and savings) was made by each candidate.

So that the early leavers at 14 years old or Relvas fake degree types begin to be weeded out from leadership. As well as those 'elite' types with no obvious means of financial suppport.

But presumably the locals know full well this information; but know that 'democracy' is a joke here. It is just us outsiders that take it seriously.

Wanting to know if a 'mayoral' candidate can tie their shoe laces and brush their teeth unaided.

Presumably separately - although anyone doing it all together, and not falling over - certainly gets my vote!

The kind of man or woman who can save Portugal from itself.
0 #2 Davida 2014-10-10 10:51
If councils can manage everything else to perfection ...

Anything to do with the Portuguese municipals is no laughing matter. Yet they consistently make it so.

What does not make sense is for Portugal to apparently have a 'hard core' of lucky, well connected 'employed for their lifetime' regular teachers in every school.

Say x % and .... the remaining y % being hired on temporary fixed term contracts. And it is these that have not been allocated correctly.

As with everything about Portuguese administration we outsiders must assume that the process of national allocation of teachers; originally established to overcome local preferences has - as it always will in Portugal - mutated into local preferences.

So political affiliation may be more important in some concelho's. Good connections in another ... way, way down the list - as good as irrelevant - being proof of subject knowledge and teaching ability.

Why else do so few Portuguese go on to further education in their own country ? So today too few students in Polytechnics and the lower grade Universities and huge emptiness in classrooms.
+3 #1 Peter Booker 2014-10-10 08:54
The present chaotic system has malfunctioned ever since I can remember, but appears now to be worse. The dismissal of ministers and directors-general does nothing to alter a system of allocation which appears both unjust and arbitrary. What is the added value in having the employment of teachers decided at national level?

If councils can manage everything else to perfection, why should they not handle the employment of teachers?