"This is a national task, we are all interested in the school year going well, it is a national mission, not the mission of a government, a party, a trade union, a patronage, school officials, parents, students or health authorities, it is everyone's mission," said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on a visit to the Gueifães Primary School, in Maia, Oporto district, accompanied by the Minister of Education, Tiago Brandão Rodrigues.
Assuming that it will be a "difficult and very special" school year, the Head of State stressed that, within his difficulties, he will have to run everything "as well as possible" because, if not, it is the country, children and young people, parents, teachers, auxiliaries and mayors who will suffer.
"And that is not possible, it is not conceivable and it will not happen", he stressed.
Expressing his conviction that the year will go well, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa recalled that Portugal's challenge is to make it go well because, otherwise, there are no plans for employment, social justice, economy and health that work because "everything is connected".
"We are going to win the year", said the President of the Republic, adding that all those who have a say, from students, teachers, leaders, have to "row in the same direction turning what is a small problem into a small problem that is solved and not a small problem that becomes a big problem".
Asking for a "joint effort" and the collaboration of all the Portuguese so that the "national challenge and mission" is achieved, the Head of State stressed that if there is "attention, communication, dialogue and speed of response" the problems will be solved and not grow.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said he hoped that when Christmas comes we will look back and be able to say: "what seemed very complicated is now less, although it still raises some questions, but we have overcome the most difficult time".
The first days of classes will be for many young people, teachers, parents and guardians, doubt and anxiety, but 15 days and a month later everything will be different, he considered.
The President of the Republic assumed to be sure that "little by little and together" it will be possible to overcome doubts and convert them into trust and hope.
During the visit, which lasted about an hour, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa became a teacher again, although for brief moments, and made a point of questioning the students about the rules to be adopted to face the Covid-19 pandemic.