From neglect of words to institutional (dis) loyalty | Opinion

On September 30, in an interview with Visão magazine, you can read:

“[…] Asked about the lack of teachers and the start of the new school year with classes without several teachers, Tiago Brandão Rodrigues affirms that “the replacement of teachers is a very oiled system”. “We were able to replace the teachers fairly quickly. Each week, there are recruitment reserves that replace teachers who are ultimately in a protection system due to sick leave or who belong to groups at risk, ”he explains. “We know that the needs we have for teachers and the available supply are a glove and a hand that don’t fit perfectly,” he admits, however.

Regarding a particular case, at the Rainha Dona Amélia school, in Lisbon, where some classes started the year with a lack of teachers in six subjects, the minister is perpetual: more than a lack of diligence, there is had “negligence”. “ The principal of the school was negligent in replacing [dos professores] and did not ask what he was entitled to. And the services of the Ministry of Education contacted the director to understand what had happened. People make mistakes, we understand, but the school didn’t do the job it should have done, ”he says. […]”

There will be many ethical questions that such words, spoken by the most senior educator, will raise for many of us. Shaking, even irrevocable [1], is the damage produced. Once said, the words, chosen with care or recklessly, rule out any chance of redemption. The truth, that, seems to be absolutely and downright secondary.

Making a real effort of restraint and objectivity, I consider it urgent to clarify the following, so that there is no doubt:

The shortage of teachers at Rainha Dona Amélia High School (ESRDA) is a fact that persists to this day, and which is certainly not the result of a failure, which has occurred, of the current principal. It is important to clarify that there is a fundamental problem in the Portuguese education system; a problem that not only dates from the previous legislature, but has been systematically overlooked by more than one holder of the Education portfolio. Like an elephant in a porcelain store, the Minister of Education’s discomfort is obvious: how can we explain to the Portuguese population, eager to bring our young people back to the normality of school life, that this return is (also) threatened, in certain regions of the country, including Lisbon, due to the (almost total) lack of candidates for teaching posts?

This is evidenced by the recent publication of the 4th recruitment reserve, available on the website of the general direction of the school administration. [DGAE] – of the nine times requested by the director of ESRDA, only one will have been completed …

As in other times, the policy seems to be divide and conquer. Directors are congratulated where appropriate and dismissed at the earliest opportunity

The “oiled machine” of the Ministry of Education lacks the raw material without which the education system goes bankrupt: teachers. Whistling to the side and pretending that everything is going on wheels, assuming the faults are human and handling those on the ground, is not only disloyal, but worrying: we all know it won’t be from year to year. other than school teaching staff. You have to rethink your career from the start. Why is the teaching of courses not attractive to applicants for higher education? What has been done to enhance the teaching career in order to make it, as it should be, stimulating and attractive, even difficult to access? A career to which only the best could aspire … We are far from all of this, unfortunately.

As in other times, the policy seems to be divide and conquer. Directors are congratulated where appropriate and dismissed at the earliest opportunity. The teachers, being so abused, begin to believe that the solution is to give up, or to do to deserve the abuse. Parents want to believe in schools, but insecurity opens up, because trust is neither blind nor unwavering. Many students continue, and even more will continue in the near future, without teacher (s).

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In addition to the glaring lack of solutions, there is the silence of the innocent. All of us.

[1] Irrevocable program, Vision

The author writes according to the new spelling agreement

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