Teachers protest

Teachers are tired of seeing their wages being cut and the amount of work – some of it consisting in useless bureaucratic paper pushing – continuously increasing. Now, there is a prospect of unemployment for thousands, a prospect quite real albeit non-assumed by the government. Portugal had always struggle with low literacy levels but the build up of an increasingly well-established middle class was making progresses in its demand for a good and widespread public education. All those achievements are slowly melting away as severe budget cuts undermine all public services.

Despite some laughs and chats, those teachers’ faces mirrored quite clearly the incertitude of their future. I’m one of them.

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All photographs by António Marques – © António Marques Photography. 2013

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4 responses

  1. This is a problem everywhere. It seems like the programs that are most valuable to the progress of society are the first to get cut.

    June 21, 2013 at 23:59

    • António Marques

      Regarding Education, I would say it seems one of two things: a conspiracy to impair the rise of critical, educated and freethinking citizens which could cause problems to the status quo leadership or it can be just plain stupidity… Thanks for commenting, Doug.

      June 22, 2013 at 13:22

  2. We have just completed a Portuguese language course at our local secondary school. Our teacher is facing redundancy as despite being young, very talented at his subject and able to relate very well to his pupils, the last in, first out rule applies to him. I don’t know if this is a national ‘rule’ but it seems so sad as this must mean that so many younger, more recently qualified teachers are at risk. Surely the very teachers that need to be kept if education is to progress? Or at least, if jobs must go it should be who is best qualified for the job, not about who was last ‘in’. But it is sad that it has to happen at all, and yes, happening everywhere.

    Beautiful images though, I love the levels of contrast.

    June 23, 2013 at 11:23

    • António Marques

      There must be a healthy balance between young teachers and the more experienced ones. The problem is the finding of a fair system to evaluate professional merit (I don’t like to use the word “performance” when it cames to teaching…). On the other hand, unemployed mature teachers hardly will ever find a job anymore… Thanks for dropping by, Tosta.

      June 23, 2013 at 13:15

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