Teaching is a career with a future – education minister
As the country approaches yet another academic year riven by conflict between teaching staff and the government, education minister João Costa has suggested teaching “is a profession with a future”.
He was talking in the context that Portugal will need more than 30,000 new teachers by 2030 if the public education system is to continue functioning properly. Many would say it hasn’t functioned properly for years…
“We’re going to need more than 30,000 new teachers by 2030 and, from the very first moment that the secretary of state and I took over this portfolio, we had no hesitation in saying – and this is in the government’s programme – that we have a problem to solve, a problem of teacher shortages,” he said at the 8th International Meeting on Pedagogical Innovation SUPERTABI 2023, in Maia, in the district of Porto.
The teacher shortage is not just a Portuguese problem, he said, but a global one that has various correlations and explanations and is the subject of debate in various international forums.
“There are career issues, there are motivational issues, there are issues of the existence of more jobs in some areas where teaching used to be the main career path. So this is also being discussed on this international stage,” he explained.
The minister of education emphasised the importance of conveying the message to young people that teaching is “a profession with a future”.
For this reason, the government is developing measures to reduce job insecurity, distances and times for career stabilisation and to introduce new pay levels so that young people see teaching as “a career worth investing in”.
He acknowledged, says Lusa, that “as in all professions and sectors, there are reasons for protest and dissatisfaction”.
Mr Costa said that, at the moment, the demand for teaching has increased since the government began to make it “very clear” that the country needs teachers.
“There is a much greater demand for teacher training courses, basic education courses, higher education schools and master’s degrees in teaching; we have more candidates than there have been in the last decade,” he said.
This is why the ministry of education is now working with the ministry of science, technology and higher education to strengthen the training capacity of universities, João Costa concluded.
Teaching unions have not yet reacted to this speech. But they are almost certain to as their struggle all through the last school year was to try and ‘save’ the State education system, which they claim has been mercilessly run down, to the detriment of future generations.
Once reactions come, they will be added to the end of this text.
Source material: Lusa