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Overloaded base, many vacant vacancies, low salaries. The reality of Polish schools just before the start of the new year

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The new school year will be difficult for many reasons. There are many vacancies and many changes in schools. Just recently, there was a shortage of over 25,000 teachers. Although there is also a lack of school psychologists, speech therapists and supporting teachers. Polish schools require changes, says the opposition and presents a plan to solve education-related problems in the first 100 days after they won the elections.

On the last day of the holidays, the mood among students and their guardians is quite good. From the point of view of school principals, however, the reality looks different. – Directors are searching for, sometimes even recruiting, teachers of various specialties. This also means combining positions in several schools – says Sławomir Broniarz, president of the Polish Teachers’ Union.

Just two weeks ago, school boards were looking for approximately 26,000 teachers, pedagogues, psychologists, speech therapists and supporting teachers. – Vacancies have actually decreased in numbers now at the end of the summer holidays at the beginning of the school year, but this does not mean that these teachers have suddenly miraculously found themselves. These hours for missing teachers are divided between male and female employees – explains Iga Kazimierczyk, president of the “Space for Education” Foundation. – It is not without reason that the Parliament changed the law allowing teachers to allocate overtime hours above the current limit of one and a half time. Today, there are teachers who work up to 40 teaching hours a week – adds Sławomir Broniarz.

Questions about the problems of Polish schools TVN24

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The minister’s voice

Przemysław Czarnek posted a speech addressed to students on social media. – This is a new school year in which you will experience the second year of history and the present, in which you will learn, among other things, business and management, in which the laboratories of the future await you – says the Minister of Education and Science in the recording.

Next year’s high school graduate, Jędrzej from the Nowa Generacja Association, talks about his ideas for what he could do for the education system: – The first thing I would do is pay raises for teachers, to make this profession profitable and for people to be motivated to work. to move towards educating others.

Currently, the basic salary of a beginning teacher is PLN 3,690 gross and is only slightly higher than the national minimum. Therefore, it is difficult to consider it motivating. – Research by the University of Warsaw in Warsaw shows that half of teachers who have little experience in work are thinking about simply leaving their job – says Iga Kazimierczyk.

Opposition plans

Politicians present ideas on how to solve education problems in the first 100 days after they win the election. – 20 percent raise immediately. This is the first point, but of course it is completely insufficient. The second point is to slim down the core curriculum, argues Izabela Leszczyna from PO. – A raise for teachers of at least 20 percent, secondly, English from the first grade, five hours a week, classes of up to 20 people, a hot free meal and the most important thing; a school free from politics, a school free from party influences – adds Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz from PSL, Trzecia Droga.

SEE ALSO: Holidays, Christmas breaks and exams. Here is the calendar for the 2023/2024 school year

All representatives of the democratic opposition signed the Citizens’ Pact for Education. It includes, among others, the following points:

1. School independence instead of central control

2. The school is well and rationally financed

3. A school of professional and valued teachers

4. A school fit for the 21st century, not the 19th century

5. School of key competences, not detailed knowledge

6. School of equal opportunities and equal treatment

7. A school of support and cooperation, not competition

8. School of democracy and commitment

9. A local community school, not a ministry of education

These are the most important proposals of the Citizens’ Pact for Education. The left also presents its own additional ones. – We are talking about removing religion from schools, this is one of the most important demands of the Left, because instead of two religion classes we could have two foreign language classes in Polish schools today – explains Katarzyna Kotula from the New Left.

Minister Czarnek’s party colleague also talks about necessary changes. – What is also one of our tasks is to increase not only the earnings, but also the prestige of teachers and academic lecturers – says Łukasz Schreiber, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Council of Ministers.

From January, the basic salary for beginning teachers with a master’s degree and pedagogical preparation will increase. After the planned increase in the national minimum minimum, it will be lower.

Author:Katarzyna Czupryńska-Chabros

Main photo source: tvn24.pl

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