Polonia: Teachers protest against educational reforms

Europa/Polonia/Octubre de 2016/Autora: Neera Sanotra/Fuente: Examswatch

RESUMEN: Las protestas estallaron por toda Polonia después que la  Ley y Justicia del gobierno del país en Varsovia propuso reformas a la educación el 10 de octubre de 2016. Las reformas buscan introducir la división de los establecimientos educativos en escuelas primarias, liceos y escuelas técnicas, al tiempo que elimina los gimnasios y centros de formación profesional. Las reformas propuestas verían eliminados las escuelas intermedias  como el gobierno quiere traer de vuelta el viejo sistema de la escuela de primaria y secundaria. Los líderes del sindicato de maestros dicen que el plan resultaría en clases más grandes y menos puestos de trabajo de enseñanza. También provocaría un descenso de la calidad de la educación en el país.

Protests erupted all over Poland after the country’s rightwing Law and Justice government in Warsaw proposed education reforms on October 10, 2016.

The reforms seek to introduce division of educational establishments into elementary schools, lyceums and technical schools, while eliminating gymnasiums and vocational schools.

The proposed reforms would see middle schools eliminated as the government wants to bring back the old system of just primary and high school. Teachers’ union leaders say the plan would result in larger classes and fewer teaching jobs. It would also bring down the quality of education in the country.

More than two thousand Polish teachers took to the streets of the country’s capital Warsaw on Monday in protest against the reforms proposed by the right-wing government. Critics say that thousands of jobs could be slashed as a result of the reforms. Teachers as well as elementary school pupils, took part in the Warsaw rally, chanting slogans such as “No to chaos” and “The death of Polish education.”

Thousands of people protested elsewhere in at least 16 other cities across Poland against the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party over issues including the abortion law, public health spending and a constitutional court crisis. The protests were organised by the national teachers union ZNP.

“We are afraid of losing our jobs, that chaos will take over in our schools,” teacher Ewa Ochenduszka said.

“We don’t know the education programmes and we don’t know what is waiting for us in the future,” she added.

They demanded that the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party abandon its educational reform plan. The demonstrators also voiced concern over proposed changes to the school curriculum.

“The direction that the minister of education proposes is a nationalist, xenophobic direction,” ZNP president Slawomir Broniarz said at the demonstration.

“Emphasising history, literature and the Polish language is essential but these subjects cannot dominate the education system.

“No one has ever received a Nobel prize in Polish history! We have received Nobels in physics, chemistry, in economics — these are the most important,” he added.

The proposed education reforms are the latest in a series of controversial moves that the PiS government has undertaken since coming to power in November 2015.

Last week, PiS lawmakers scrapped a proposed abortion ban after tens of thousands of black-clad women demonstrated across Poland, as well as in other European capitals.

The proposal had strained relations between Warsaw and Brussels, already at odds in a high-pitched rule of law dispute involving government reforms of Poland’s constitutional court.

In late September meanwhile thousands of doctors, nurses and hospital workers marched through central Warsaw demanding the government spend more on public health, especially to hike notoriously low salaries.

Polish Education Minister Anna Zalewska met with representatives of teachers’ unions on Monday morning.

Zalewska, however, said the government would not withdraw from its plan and that the reforms were “thought-out, responsible and also the costs have been calculated.” She also promised that no teacher would be laid off as a result of the changes.

Fuente: http://examswatch.com/teachers-protest-against-educational-reforms-in-poland/

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