What Has the Democracy Done for Education in Portugal?
News | 03 April 2024 What Has the Democracy Done for Education in Portugal?

In the month that marks 50 years of democracy, what can we say about the evolution of education in Portugal, from 1974 to the present? And what still needs to improve?

In a recent episode of “Da Capa à Contracapa” podcast, experts Ana Balcão Reis (Scientific Director at the Nova SBE Economics of Education Knowledge Center) and Mónica Vieira (General Coordinator  at Iniciativa Educação Teresa e Alexandre Soares dos Santos) delved into this topic.

They discussed the most significant developments of this period, such as the increase in school enrollment rates and the quality of the population’s average learning, and highlighted one of the main problems that persists to this day – the learning inequalities between students from advantaged and disadvantaged families.

More recent problems were also addressed, such as the lack of attractiveness of the teaching career, the difficulty in identifying learning problems due to the lack of external assessments, and the difficulties in integrating non-Portuguese-speaking foreign students into Portuguese schools.

Ana Balcão Reis proposed several lines of action, such as:

  • Direct investments in schools with more disadvantaged students
  • An earlier identification of learning difficulties during pre-school and elementary school years
  • Investment in multidisciplinary teams to address inequalities
  • The granting of some recruitment autonomy to schools
  • A more accurate alignment of vocational education with the needs of local businesses
  • Mechanisms for nducing new teachers by senior mentor teachers


Click here to listen to the full episode (only in Portuguese)

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