“This problem will make an already dark situation worse”, Emília Costa Vicente, the principle of Lagoa schools told The Portugal News.

The schools are very happy to welcome these new students, but they need resources, namely more teachers. "These students often integrate into classes that are already full, where any other student would not usually get in.”

At the moment the group of schools she runs has already met the conditions to hire one more teacher, but there aren't any to hire. To address this problem, permanent teachers are overloaded with extra hours. "It is already an old problem and this year, with this situation, it will get even worse. Also, in the next decade, 40 percent of our teachers will retire and I'm not sure how that will be solved, this situation is unbearable... We have a lot of people working overtime who are close to retirement."

According to Emília, some schools are in a very hard situation. "In this group of schools, which has only received 20 students so far, the difficulties are not yet very complicated, but we know that there are schools facing great struggles", she said.

Unattractive job

“If you ask any child if they want to be a teacher, nobody wants to be a teacher anymore. Even though the lower averages, the courses are empty because it is not attractive at all. Only teachers who really love their job keep up their efforts."

She added: "Younger teachers coming in are faced with this and very often terminate their contracts. People cannot take it. They would rather work in a water park, a lab or something else."

All in all, she hopes that in the future someone will find a solution to this ever increasing problem.