Public education and public schools are suffering a huge attack from Portuguese Government policies in education. The actual ministry of Education, Nuno Crato, professor of mathematics but with a blatant position against research in the educational field draw  both from from beliefs and right-wing tenets the major guides to his policies.

Moreover he is a weak minister without the strength to, even if he which to, defend education in the overall affairs of Portuguese Ministry Counsel. For it is clear from history  and policy research, that a large bet on education is a must to a better future. Or to any future whatsoever.

It was already revealed some measures and intentions related to educational policy for the next months. First Crato intend to cut on Universities and Polytechnic budgets. (In Portugal we have two complementary systems in higher education) These institutions lived from some years now on the edge of their possibilities.  To function, that is, to produce knowledge, teach and disseminate knowledge, researchers and teachers are working in an increasingly difficult situation that are not sustainable.

Is simple as this: or the Government change his budget policies towards higher education or they must proceed to another cutback on the functions they develop.

The costs of this would be well beyond the narrow vision of oncoming consequences. The future to the knowledge-based economy and country cultural production would be drastic.

Other major line of policy that relate to the previous one is the attack to teachers. The salaries have been frozen for years, the age of retirement in this consuming profession is increasing. Teachers do work hard with more students in each class. They must attend to the overall requirements of teaching that go beyond teaching, planing and assessing. They must do the related administrative work and develop themselves as a better teachers.

However they are in a professional limbo. His profession is being downgraded and yet all relevant research and international policies reports emphasize the importance of increase the role of teachers in society.  So what is happening? Somehow, policies are increasingly being supported and informed by beliefs.

Additionally, even when Government says that there are scarce public resources, they announce new measures to finance private schools. This is absolutely infamous and draws attention to the core of this educational policy: privatize.

The are hard times to teachers and to the public education. These are hard times to education.

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