It is estimated that around 1.3 million students in Portugal are returning to the classrooms today.
On Monday, teachers began a week-long strike in Portugal, coinciding with the return to classes after the summer holidays, due to the deterioration of their working conditions.
"There are more than 100,000 students in the country who are without one or more teachers in one or more subjects. This is happening due to very harmful educational policies," said Andre Pestana, the president of the Union of All Education Professionals (STOP)from São Teotónio Highscholl, where there is not a single English teacher for all third cycle classes.
"The real reason that leads us to fight is to demand a public school of excellence for your children and grandchildren," said Pestana, who called on teachers to protest on Sept. 22 in front of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
"It has already become clear that it is not the Education Minister who decides. We have to put pressure on the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister," Pestana stressed.
Among other demands, the teachers demand to recover over six years that they have frozen. They consider that this time of service was "stolen" from them because the Portuguese authorities froze nine years of their career between 2005 and 2018, which implies that those years were not counted in their seniority to calculate their salary.
It is estimated that around 1.3 million students in Portugal are returning to the classrooms today in a first week in which many will find that the teacher is on strike. The protest will last until Friday and is not the first to be called in recent months in the country.
At the moment there is no official data on the follow-up of the strike, although the president of the National Association of Directors of Public Groups and Schools (ANDAEP), Filinto Lima, assured that "the schools are functioning normally and the effects of the strike are very small".