In the years to come, some sort of “Marshall Plan” will be needed to restore learning to all those left behind. You should consider the youngest students, but not only. You should “rationalize” the content of the curriculum, “edit” the “essentials”: read and write in the 1st cycle; in the 2nd and 3rd cycle read the contents of the Portuguese language, that of the sciences. Resources need to be increased, more teachers, more psychologists, more social workers, more personal support and more support in the classroom. These are some of the concerns and suggestions made by the President of the National Association of School Directors, Manuel Pereira, and the President of the National Association of Directors of Public Schools and Groups, Filinto Lima, in response to the results of the diagnosis from the Institute for Educational Evaluation (Iave) with the aim of assessing the impact of the first constraint on learning.
The PUBLIC also listened to Rodrigo Queiroz e Melo, Executive Director of the Association of Private and Cooperative Educational Institutions (Aeep). None of the three are surprised by the results, they are all concerned. Manuel Pereira believes that the diagnosis generally “meets the expected results” and that in the first phase there was no “time to prepare for distance learning”, that the older students would have a different autonomy and that “the youngest will be have suffered more.
“Is it worrying? It’s worrying, of course, but it was also worrying when the school kept its doors open. The most important thing was the defense of health. However, we do know that there are losses that are unlikely to recover in the years to come. The school has to go to great lengths, ”he says, assuming that students and teachers will be better prepared in second detention. “But of course the situation is worrying and a ‘Marshall Plan’ for education will be needed to win back those who have stayed behind,” he affirmed.
This plan will be necessary “in the coming years” and “take into account the youngest students”: “It is necessary to take this into account in relation to the curriculum organization of the school itself. In some cases it will be necessary to use human resources in schools, teachers and even increase psychologists on the part of the Department of Education (ME). It is necessary to restore learning and even social problems. “He argues that it is necessary to” streamline some curriculum content that is too difficult “:” Schools need to Pick up and work on the essentials. A plan is required to work on basic areas such as reading and writing in the 1st cycle and 2nd and 3rd cycle, as well as reading and the content of the Portuguese language and science. “
Filinto Lima, on the other hand, warns that the impact of the pandemic on learning could be even greater as the impact of the second restriction has yet to be assessed. In any case, there is no doubt that mental health and education will have a lot of work to do in the years to come. For this person, “individualized, personalized support” and “support in the context of teaching”, for example, “more teaching days” are preferable. Emphasizes that the Ministry of Education needs to increase the number of hours allocated to schools again in order to recruit more teachers and increase the number of specialized technicians such as psychologists and social workers. What worries him most is the first cycle: “The first few years of school will pay the highest bill that the pandemic will give us because they are less autonomous and have no more individual training than other colleagues who are already in their senior years.”
Rodrigo Queiroz e Melo, on the other hand, considers it “strange that at the highest level the similarity with the percentage of students with good grades in international studies such as Pisa remains”: “What this shows is an effect that is very asymmetrical from the pandemic and which is likely to increase inequality, the percentage of students with difficulty will have increased. It is foreseeable that, for example, the effects on students with school social behavior will be greater. There must have been differences in private and collaborative education, too, but we need more detail to understand where to act. “
Hence, he argues that the response “should be different in relation to student needs”: “It seems difficult to me to have a group of people saying what to do. Schools should look at their reality and the options for you choose specific students. Should the academic year be extended? Repeat the academic year? It seems inappropriate to me to make such decisions. Those who have achieved good results need to rest, those who have achieved very poor results need personal support. Iave’s results need to be fed back to schools, and schools need to make the necessary decisions for each student. “
Although the results do not surprise him, “the concern is and must be enormous”: “In a time of worry, the worst that can be done is to make decisions for free. The concern must be focused on those who need support. It is necessary to see class and grade student by student. For example, acquiring reading skills is important. There are students who need individual tuition, support in reading and understanding texts, others in mathematical calculations, we don’t believe in the same solutions for everyone, ”he says.
This weekend, in an interview with Diário de Notícias, former minister Nuno Crato defended that “tests, at least national assessment tests” should be carried out, even if they were not counted for the note, in order to “know the teaching status”. Rodrigo Queiroz e Melo agrees, Filinto Lima and Manuel Pereira have reservations. For Filinto Lima, Iave’s diagnosis is already “very important in order to find strategies”. It is already “a good tool” for the team that ME called the “solution to the problem”.
Manuel Pereira also understands that “schools know what has been left without exams” and that they “must have the autonomy to make decisions taking into account the reality of each school”. He believes that “every teacher and every school knows what to do”: “We know what has been lost, we don’t have to measure it, some schools may even want to do it, but this is within the autonomy of schools. Now another series of reviews, the reports of which will appear shortly, are of no use at the moment. “Rodrigo Queiroz e Melo agrees, but remembers that” the Council of Ministers has annulled the benchmarking tests, which were the best benchmarking tool “:” Nevertheless, we have the entire third period before us personally, that is we will end the year knowing how our students are really doing, ”he says, noting that he is only speaking for the private and cooperative sector that he represents. With Samuel Silva