The Cape Verdean government has promised to resolve outstanding issues for teachers by 2023. This was confirmed by the Education Ministry at a meeting on World Teacher's Day, 5 October, with the Federaçao Caboverdiana dos Professores (FECAP).
The union presented the Education Minister, Amadeu Cruz, with a set of measures aimed at improving the teaching profession and education quality. The proposals around outstanding educators’ rights included “a new salary scale for teachers and automatic promotion of all teachers, who, in light of the new scale, have already gone over the time to get it”, explained FECAP General Secretary and member of Education International’s Africa Regional Committee, Abraão Borges.
During the meeting, the union focused on improving teachers’ careers at all education levels to secure the betterment of the conditions of all teachers and to lower the student–teacher ratio during the pandemic.
Borges said that the education minister showed total openness in evaluating these proposals. While the minister did not set any deadline for possible changes, Cruz did confirm the need for teachers to have promotions in their careers.
The union also sought to have the law governing reform of the teaching profession revised. FECAP deplores that teachers retire on a very low salary. “Because teachers who are shaping the future of all professions go into retirement in extreme poverty, the Education Ministry must agree that our proposal that the teacher reform law must be revised makes sense,” he insisted.
Bearing in mind that the parliamentary debate, which started on 6 October, was due to address the issue of education, FECAP hopes there will be more clarification around reclassification, workload subsidies, and teacher conditions, he added.
2023 deadline set for resolution of all issues
For its part, the Government promised to resolve outstanding issues relating to teachers by 2023. “The Government is working towards gradually solving all issues affecting the teaching class. We reaffirm our commitment to complete the process of solving pending teacher issues by 2023,” assured Education Minister Cruz.
He also stressed that the Cape Verdean Government has resolved teachers’ issues that date back to 2008. And he confirmed that it will continue to resolve all issues around teachers’ careers, honouring its commitment to the unions.
The minister also announced that the Government would take budget availability into account in dealing with the diverse issues facing educators. This was in recognition of the fact that State incomes had reduced because of the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Return to normality a possibility
Cruz referred to the theme for World Teachers' Day this year, ‘Teachers at the centre of the recovery of education’. In Cape Verde, he said, around 6,000 teachers had been placed in schools and more that 200 new teachers recruited for the new academic year that started on 13 September. They will teach around 130,000 students nationwide: 16,500 in kindergartens, 83,500 in compulsory basic education, and 30,000 in secondary education.
For him, while the running of the school year will still be determined by the impact of COVID-19, the process of returning to normality will hopefully begin soon. “A regime of full-time, face-to-face classes will be adopted, with the assumption that teachers and education support personnel, as well as students aged 18 years or over, will be vaccinated,” he explained. This would ensure that the plan containing measures to fight COVID-19, adapted by schools according to their needs a year ago, will be maintained.
You can listen to the FECAP leader’s insights on the national radio on World Teachers’ Day here (from 12:45 until 15:27).
Watch the video about the meeting of the FECAP leadership with the Education Minister to propose measures to improve the teaching profession: