Government presents program to reduce students missing classes by 90% due to lack of teachers

Measure was announced today

The Government today announced a program to reduce by 90% the number of students without classes at the end of the first period and end long periods without teachers.

At Christmas 2023, when the 1st period of classes ended, there were 20.087 students without classes in at least one subject, revealed the Minister of Education, Science and Innovation (MECI), during the presentation of a plan approved today by the Council of Ministers to reduce the number of students affected by missed classes.

In September 2023, there were more than 324 thousand students without classes in at least one subject, a problem that decreased throughout the year, but which continued to affect more than 22 thousand students last May, according to information released today by Minister Fernando Alexandre.

“Classes have not started for a third of our students and this is a very serious problem”, lamented Fernando Alexandre, arguing that the lack of classes “is the most serious problem in our education system” and “puts the school career at risk ”.

Almost a thousand students spent the entire academic year without classes in at least one subject, according to data provided by the minister, who highlighted that the students most affected by prolonged periods without classes are concentrated “in more disadvantaged socioeconomic contexts”.

The subjects where there is the greatest shortage of teachers are IT, Portuguese, Geography, Mathematics or pre-school teachers, he added.

It is in the Lisbon and Algarve areas that the schools with the most problems are concentrated, according to a survey presented today by the minister at the end of the Council of Ministers meeting, where a set of measures to combat the problem was approved.

Of the 163 school groups flagged as not having teachers in the last three years, 119 are located in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, highlighted the minister.

The Government's plan wants there not to be a single student without “prolonged interruptions” in the next academic year.