How the power in turn is killing education in Portugal
opinion / analysis
Saturday March 11, 2006 19:56 by Manuel Baptista - Portuguese FESAL-E manuelbap at yahoo dot com
The Education Secretary of State, Valter Lemos - in the plenary of the Parliament - uses lies and calumny as "arguments" in support of the governmental decision to close down the Lisbon Secondary School D. João de Castro.
The truth is, this school is a danger to the
neoliberal power, "shocking pink" coloured!
A school where participatory democracy exists, where people have really freedom of speech - either pupils or teachers, or other personnel- and where education is taken seriously (even according to their criteria; the famous school ranking classify us in the 24th place, at national level!)
The secretary of state argued in the parliament (last 10th march), answering a question of a CP deputy that amongst the motives to close down the school was the « fact that pupils didn't choose it to inscribe in it.»
But from this fact, the government itself is the sole responsible.
Many parents wished their children to be inscribed in our school 7th year , but the Ministry forbade us to open inscriptions 2 years ago, for the classes at the beginning
of the 3rd cycle (7th year ).
Anybody knows that the parents won't shift their children from school to school in the middle of a cycle (in this case, the 3rd cycle, the last before the secondary school).
So, forbidding the opening of the 7th grade, two years ago, the then PSD (Social Democratic Party) government was dictating the death sentence of the D. João de Castro secondary school.
Now, the "socialists" are performing exactly the same policy, they execute the condemnation and even have the lack of shame to fill their mouth with lies as the one that our school supposedly "defamed" another one (the Fonsecas Benavides’ secondary school). This (false) accusation or calumny is something that could be brought to court and the one that has made it knows well, but uses (abuses) immunity to proffer it.
According to some teachers, the schools that are planed to disappear in Lisbon alone, are seven.
This sounds a small number but it means tens of thousands pupils and about a thousand workers (teachers and others).
But the ministry of education doesn't say a word, keeping secrecy in all it's plans.
When pressed by the reporters, the Education ministry, Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues, says that in Lisbon the
reorganisations will "be punctual".
Of course, for her, what does it matter ten of thousand people and the disturbances in their lives ?
- They decide what they never announced (and will never announce) in the government program itself, presented to the electorate only one year ago!
- And, in case it is there, one should seriously ask if they are not preparing to perform exactly the opposite!
What a beautiful democracy!
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