Distance learning problems highlighted by union

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 03-02-2021 09:00:00 · 0 Comments

The National Federation of Teachers (Fenprof) has warned that distance learning will be resumed due to the covid-19 pandemic without the Government having solved the problems that occurred last school year.

In an open letter addressed to the Prime Minister, António Costa, the union writes that the executive failed to prepare for a possible return to the distance learning regime, "despite the time that has passed and the commitments he has assumed".

Among the examples of these commitments that were “always postponed”, Fenprof refers to the distribution of computers and the creation of conditions for access to broadband Internet, for students and teachers. "Obviously, it constituted yet another serious conditioning of the students 'right to equal opportunities of access to education and a subversion of the teachers' rights to the" tools "for their professional practice", they stress. In contrast to this lack of preparation for guardianship, they continue, schools prepared even before the beginning of the 1st term, in September, contingency plans in which they provided for different scenarios of operating regime, including distance.

However, schools designed these plans assuming that the Ministry of Education would ensure certain conditions that would allow to overcome some of the problems that occurred when generalized distance learning was introduced in March to contain the covid-19 pandemic and, according to Fenprof , this did not happened. “In this context of devaluation of the Public School, with undisguised responsibility from the Ministry of Education and the Government, it becomes important to understand the schools' capacities to use digital tools, distance learning, the transmission of live classes, the recording of classes and later availability ”, questions the union structure.

In addition to the problems inherent in the teaching-learning process, Fenprof also refers to issues related to the working conditions of teachers under this regime, such as the availability of equipment, the intensification and deregulation of working time and the worsening of overwork. At this level, respect is demanded for working hours, not increasing the number of meetings “multiplying the bureaucracy installed by the educational administration apparatus” and maintaining the non-teaching component hours.

On the other hand, teachers' representatives also refer to teaching risks in the digital world, such as' bullying 'and moral harassment, the increase in professional' stress' and the lack of skills to work in this regime, both for teachers and students themselves . “The right to work with rights is fundamental and, while it is true that we all have a duty to collaborate in solving the health problem we are experiencing, it is neither understandable nor tolerable that, in order to deal with it, other problems are created that would not fail to have , also, very serious consequences ”, concludes Fenprof, asking the Prime Minister that the resolution of these problems is a priority.

On Tuesday, Fenprof will meet with the Ministry of Education to whom it will directly address these concerns. In a statement, the union structure said that it will put on the table concrete issues such as support for teachers with children under 12 years of age who are teleworking, guaranteeing conditions for exercising teleworking activities, vaccination of teachers who remain on-site and most professionals until the end of the 2nd period. At the meeting, Fenprof will also present its position on three projects of diplomas it received from the tutelage, referring to the professionalisation of teachers, continuous training within the scope of the Digital School and exceptional measures in the context of the pandemic of the covid-19.



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