Mounting tension as teachers forced into government-backed test

UPDATE: teacher competence test suspended

In a last minute move by the Ministry of Education, a test that was due to assess the knowledge and competence of teachers today (December 1)8 has been suspended. Among protests up and down the country by thousands of teachers who refused to take up the test, the government was forced to suspend the test until further notice.

More than 13,500 teachers were due to face the unpopular government-backed test.

In Coimbra, teachers due to sit the test at the Escola Infanta D. Maria camped under the stars, posing for photographs holding placards calling for a national boycott. “This test is a way of humiliating teachers,” they said.

The national federation of teachers, Fenprof, was hoping for a court decision to block the Ministry of Education from being allowed to hold the test at all. However, the many protests outside schools where the test was due to be held dictated the cancelation of the test – at least today.

Fenprof’s arguments centre on the fact that there is absolutely no need for trained professionals with university degrees and proven experience to be further ‘tested’ on their abilities – particularly when the test puts more money into the coffers of the government.

All teachers with less than five years experience are required to take the PACC (Prova de Avaliação de Conhecimentos e Capacidades) test, and in order to do so, they must pay a minimum fee of €20.