Lack of teachers in schools in the south of the country has “visibly worsened”

Algarve is the region where the scenario is most serious

The problem of the lack of teachers in the south of the country has "visibly worsened", warned the South Zone Teachers' Union - SPZS, which carried out a survey of the missing timetables in its union area, the districts of Portalegre, Évora , Beja and Faro.

the district of Faro «this presents the most serious scenario, with around 118 schedules to be filled, which is equivalent to 1760 hours, and affecting 8800 students, as is the case with the Pinheiro and Rosa school groups, with 15 schedules to be filled, and Silves Sul with 8 competition schedules».

«The start of this school year, in addition to various unresolved problems, is marked by a worrying lack of teachers in practically all schools and by the Government's inertia in finding paths and solutions», accuses the union.

«The undisguised shortage of teachers is likely to worsen, as this academic year has followed the negative evolution of the last three years», he added.

According to SPZS, the «number of teachers missing this week is affecting more than 90 thousand students nationally, exceeding the weekly maximum recorded in the previous year, precisely in the week of 12 to 16 September 2022, when 1.147 were submitted. schedules, with 16.497 hours, affecting more than 80 thousand students».

«From the survey carried out, we can conclude that, in the 89% of school groups in our union area that responded, there are schedules to be filled, with the majority, around 50%, in the 3rd Cycle of Basic Education and Secondary Education, such as the trend at national level», he revealed.

«Last week (from the 11th to the 15th of September), in our union area alone, around 16.455 students did not have teachers for all subjects», he said.

With regard to the Algarve, unionists draw attention to the fact that the housing rental market is «increasingly unaffordable or inaccessible to teaching staff», to which is added «seasonality, which forces people to leave homes during of June, preventing many teachers from competing for these times, given the constraints to which the teaching profession and career are subject».

«The situation in the district of Beja is also quite worrying, where there are around 47 timetables to be filled, corresponding to 826 hours, with 4130 students affected, this being the district in the country where the average number of hours per timetable is highest», continues the SPZS.

Of the various groups with missing teachers, the union highlights the one in São Teotónio with «with 14 schedules without a teacher», the AE N.º2 in Serpa, «with 7 schedules», the AE in Ourique, «with 6 schedules» and the AE de Alvito, «with 4 schedules without a teacher (in a municipality with just over two thousand inhabitants)».

«Taking into account the reality of Alentejo and the district of Beja, the large distances between schools, the type of access and communication routes, the difficulty in renting a house, the size of the groups themselves, we are facing an increase in problems that are condition the quality of educational responses”, they believe.

It is also worth highlighting the districts of Évora, with 26 timetables to be filled, which will affect 1.955 students, and the district of Portalegre, with 21 timetables to be filled, which is equivalent to 314 hours and around 1.600 students affected.

The lack of teachers "is more noticeable" in the recruitment groups that cover the 3rd CEB and Secondary, namely in the subjects of IT - 550, Portuguese-300, Mathematics - 500, English - 330, History-400, Geography-420, Biology -520, Physics and Chemistry-510. There are still many schedules to be filled in the 220 – Portuguese English recruitment group of the 2nd CEB, as well as the lack of human resources in Special Education is quite worrying.

On the 1st of September, SPZS/FENPROF «once again delivered to the Ministry of Education a proposal based on this and other issues, with contributions to the much-needed attractiveness of the teaching profession, something that, despite the government's speech, appears have fallen, once again, on “deaf ears”».

«The complexity of work processes, with an enormous bureaucratization of teaching work, lack of working conditions, degradation of buildings and equipment, insufficient investment in their modernization, maintenance of high job insecurity, low wages and low prospects for valuing retirement pensions, destruction of careers, including blocking access to top levels, high physical and mental exhaustion, lack of a management regime that promotes the participation of teachers at decision-making levels and a growing dependence on cyclical “wills” from local authorities , among other aspects, add reasons why the number of young people wanting to enter the teaching profession is very low, which is a threat to the future that must be taken seriously», concluded the union.