Monday, April 12, 2021

Teachers in 15-minute blackout and strike to distance classes

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António Cotrim / Lusa

The Minister of Education, Tiago Brandão Rodrigues.

A group of teachers is calling for a 15-minute “blackout” during distance classes as a form of protest against the government over old demands and current working conditions. However, one of the class Unions called for a strike on online education.

With the second phase of distance learning forced by the pandemic, teachers take advantage of the moment to make old demands and also to complain about current working conditions.

A group of teachers, who define themselves as a “free and individual” movement, is calling for a “Blackout” to distance classes this Thursday and Friday, 18th and 19th of February, asking teachers to turn off their computers at 9:15 am, “for a period of 15 minutes”.

The idea is to “suspend, in this period, collaboration with the guise of lack of preparation that has prevented public opinion from realizing that Minister Brandão lies when saying that everything goes well and everything was prepared ”for the distance classes, defends this group of teachers in a manifest to which the Diário de Notícias (DN) had access.

The group also calls for other “education professionals, who are at home using, without compensation, their own equipment and technical conditions to carry out distance learning ”that adhere to this symbolic protest.

The “blackout” should pass, next week, to “two daily 15-minute shutdown periods, at different times”. In the following week, the possibility of “moving to three periods and so on” is being considered, explained in the manifest.

“Revealing the great illusion that is distance learning”

Teachers promise to continue the protest until “the Government realizes that it has to respect and thank the teachers for their goodwill and collaboration, which has helped to prevent the misuse of education in the name of the students ”.

In addition to complaints about current working conditions, these teachers report to old battles, noting the “issues of salary and respect for careers”, “schedules, retirement, competitions, treatment of contractors, evaluation, lack of resources for students and poor working conditions for operational assistants”, as well as the “image of the class and its degradation by the lies with the public opinion ”, as other reasons for the protest.

One of the subscribers to the manifesto, Luís Sottomaior Braga, explains to DN that the protest is “a necessary step to reveal the great illusion that is distance learning“.

“In such a process, technological resources are essential and, in fact, despite all the illusions that are passed on to public opinion, the owners of the equipment are the teachers. The government did not, and had time, the essentials“, Criticizes this teacher.

However, the All Teachers Union (STOP) called for a strike to distance classes also due to the displeasure with the Ministry of Education.

ZAP ZAP //

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