Trade unions complain that the profession is no longer attractive: there are fewer and fewer young people who dream of becoming teachers and more and more professionals are switching from classrooms to more stable careers.
Students in Lisbon and in the Algarve are among the first to feel the effects of the lack of teachers in schools. At this time of year, there are still education establishments looking for someone who wants to teach their students.
The majority if teachers (52.9 percent) in Portuguese schools are more than 50 years old, while teachers under 30 do not reach 1 percent (they are 0.6 percent), according to data from the “State of Education 2019”, released by the National Educational Council (CNE).
The teaching profession in Portugal has experienced a double aging, both at the bottom with the lack of young teachers entering the profession, or at the top with the age of professionals in their careers increasing.
In 18 years, the percentage of teachers in the 3rd cycle and secondary with at least 50 years old per 100 teachers under the age of 30 went from 61.3 percent to more than 3000 percent, according to 2018 data from Pordata. In this analysis, Portugal appears as the second country in Europe with the biggest difference: In the 1st and 2nd cycle it is only surpassed by Italy and in the 3rd and secondary cycle by Greece.
Between 2018 and 2019, the aging rate of teachers increased in pre-school education by about 16 percent, while in the 2nd and 3rd cycle and in secondary education the growth was around 17.5 percent, according to Pordata data.
In recent years, there are fewer and fewer young people interested in pursuing a teaching career. An example of this is the gradual decrease in the number of students looking for courses in the area of ??education: Between 2011/2012 and 2017/2018 there was a decrease of about 50 percent of people studding this areas.
The main problem may be incomes. Most teachers have been working in schools for at least two decades, but continue to be at the same salary level, with only 8.7 percent of teachers reaching the top of their career.