Too many teachers for just a few vacancies

ALMOST 123,000 teachers are trying their luck in the contest for teaching jobs this year – over 1,000 more teachers than last year. The figure, which has only just been revealed, is in sharp contrast to the actual number of vacancies available, just 8,500. As was the case last year, a third of candidates will not be offered employment by the Ministry of Education.

The deadline for applications made electronically was last week. The data is currently being processed by the Ministry’s departments until April 17 and then, by the end of the month, provisory lists must be published. Each applicant is graded on a scale, according to their abilities and skills. They are also classified according to their length of service. It is these results that are published, forming the basis of the decision-making for allocating vacancies.

The allocations will be valid for three years, meaning that the teacher is entitled to keep their position in a school for a three-year period, according to the new rules established by the government for the current contest. According to the figures that have been revealed by the Direcção Geral dos Recursos Humanos da Educação (DGHRE), the human resources department at the education office, of the 122,644 candidates competing for jobs this year, 20 per cent are already staff at a school where they are applying for a position, while 27 per cent are staff at schools in the same area. Those teachers contracted in 2005 represent a fifth of the candidates for 2006.

This year, for the first time, the Ministry has opened vacancies for special education, a measure that has led to 6,117 teachers applying for the new jobs, however, only 2,155 vacancies are available.  

According to the DGHRE, the administrative departments are dealing with, on average, around 1,465 candidates a day – a much higher number than last year (913).

Candidates, who have had their applications invalidated due to errors, can still compete for a position during a special clearing session, scheduled for April 18 and 19.