The question in Portugal is not whether the supply of education is able to satisfy the demand but, the quality of the system itself. During the 70s and 80s, many partnerships were made between the Education Ministry and private identities, in order to provide education to a more remote or less populated places where the school network was unable to arrive. However, some schools, according to the national news, were created out of these conditions where the public network enough to reach all pupils. Those are the main arguments of teachers in the public sector and FENPROF – teacher’s labor union.
This debate arose again because of the approval of minister of education, Dr. Nuno Crato, that parents should be free to choose in which school to enroll their children (before students should be in their close by school). But questions remain, why parents prefer this kind of schools, why government prefers?
In my point of view and according to what is argued in the news, in general this structures provide more protection to children, better achievements, according to government analysis,, lower costs with labor but similar budgets.
It is true that there is corruption, managers or school owners in general take some benefits, but more supervision the “right benefits” may control and even reduce this issue. The cost per pupil is also higher in these schools – smaller classes.
Why the results in the public network school are so different from partnership ones? In the former teachers are allocated per school and they are subject to possibility of reallocation in for a period of time – lower bond with the institution – there is also a lack of a clear “headmaster”, board of different categorical directors, classes are too large (in average 28 students). While in partnership schools they have a structure more close to the one applied in the private sector, teachers are subject to a selection and the human resources are controlled by each school, there are a clear head master and there is an effort to make classes smaller.
In sum, with some supervision but giving the right incentives to investors this school system could be a more efficient and desired one.
Maria Dentinho #615