Teachers ‘caught short’ during aptitude tests have to seek jury permission before going to toilet

In another ludicrous case of Portuguese bureaucracy gone mad, it now appears that any teacher needing to use the lavatory while sitting government-enforced aptitude tests later this month must seek permission from a jury based in Lisbon before being able to do so.

“If a teacher who is undertaking the test in Viseu needs to go to the toilet, it will mean a call for authorisation all the way to Lisbon,” union boss Mário Nogueira used the example as another reason for invigilators to boycott all 76 test-centres throughout the country.

The “aptitude tests” – implemented by the current government and hugely unpopular with teachers – may well be “thrown out” constitutionally anyway, claims Nogueira.

The dogged leader of FENPROF has been going all out to get the tests declared illegal – winning a major battle only a month ago when a Coimbra court ruled they were created “to strike terror into the legitimate expectations of citizens who have already been considered apt to exercise a profession”, and therefore violated juridical principles.

The Coimbra court ruling came days after national papers carried the almost impossible questions set teachers in December’s tests, which were riddled with so-called ‘rasteiras’ (a word used to describe hidden tricks designed to confuse).
This latest round of ‘multiple testing components’ is aimed at teachers who have navigated the ‘rasteiras’ and are now being allowed to answer questions in the subjects for which they are qualified to teach.

Tests so far have acted very much like a ‘cull’ – sending thousands of teachers with less than five years’ experience to horribly bleak futures after years of effort – not to mention expense – at universities up and down the country.

The next round of tests is due during the Easter break on March 25, 26 and 27.

Any teacher taking the test who does receive permission to go to the lavatory will be ‘accompanied by a designated element of the organ of direction’, the ‘exam guide’ produced to help teachers explains.

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