The main goal of the Portuguese education is to ensure an educational basis for everyone, seen as the beginning of an educating and personal process of formation throughout life. The coordination of the policy for the educational system is the responsibility of: ◦ The Ministry of Education – pre-school education and compulsory education ◦ The Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education – higher education.
Portuguese Educational System Higher Pre-school Compulsory education education education (6-17 years old) (18-28 years old)(3-5 years old) 1st Cycle 2nd Cycle (6-9 years old) 3rd Cycle (10-11 years Upper secondary old) (lower secondary education Nursery education) (15-17 years old) school (12-14 years old) Courses Scientific- Technological Specialised Vocational Humanistic Artistic
Pre-school education optional for children from the age of 3 till they enter compulsory education and is provided both in state-run and in private nursery schools. State-run nursery provision free of charge; fees are paid in private nursery schools.Aims: ◦ Stimulate the children’s skills and encourage their development; ◦ Contribute to their emotional stability; ◦ Promote integration in different social groups; ◦ Develop expressive and communication skills; ◦ Encourage hygienic and healthy habits; ◦ Detect early signs of dysfunctions, special gifts,…
In the 1st cycle of compulsory education pupils are taught by one generalist teacher, being usually supported by other teachers in specialised areas, such as English and other foreign languages, Music and Physical Education. In the 2nd cycle of compulsory education pupils are taught by subject specialist teachers or curricular area teachers. In the 3rd cycle and upper secondary education, specialist teachers support pupils’ education. State-run schools are free of charge.
Specialised technological courses provide a post secondary non-higher education, and among other objectives, aim at promoting a training path that combines qualification and professional skills and competences with the possibility of proceeding to higher education. Students who successfully complete this type of training are awarded both a diploma of technological specialisation and a level 4 professional qualification; these courses can also confer a certificate of professional aptitude. Students who successfully complete this cycle of education are awarded a secondary education diploma. Technological, specialised artistic and vocational courses also confer a level 3 professional qualification.
Aims: The aim of the compulsory education in Portugal is not only to impart knowledge, but also to promote personal development; Great emphasis is placed on developing practical skills and aptitudes, on creativity and critical evaluation; The school is based on humanistic and democratic ideals and aims to promote values like tolerance and freedom of thought, equal status, equality of responsibility and participation in decision-making; The pupils are supposed to learn cooperation on the one hand and independence and personal responsibility on the other. Leads to the diploma of basic education
Higher education in Portugal includes university and polytechnic education, administered by public, non public or co-operative institutions of higher education. To apply to higher education via the national system, students must fulfil the following requirements: to have an upper secondary education course or legally equivalent qualification; to take the necessary entrance exams for the course they wish to attend with a minimum mark of 95 points; to satisfy the necessary pre-requisites (if applicable) of the course they are applying to. Entrance to each higher education institution is subjected to numerus clausus. Fees are set by the different higher education institutions, being its amount defined between a minimum and a maximum, depending on the type of the course.
Higher education provides the following academic qualifications: First-degree, Master’s degree and PhD. University and polytechnic institutions confer First-degrees and Master’s degree, while universities also award PhD.
The concept of special educational needs apply to every child or young person showing any learning difficulty any time during their academic life. Special education is organised in a continuity of responses among groupings/classes and specialised units, which support inclusion and work in reference schools. The Basic Educational Establishments assure pedagogical activities to students requiring special teaching needs, namely special teaching, pedagogical support and specific professional orientation.
It is a special type of schooling which is available for those who did not complete basic education at the usual age of school attendance (up to 15); It has the same objectives as regular basic education, although it adopts study plans and methods appropriate for its target users; It may provide a certified vocational training component besides the basic education diploma.
In accordance with the Education Act the training of non-higher education teachers involves initial, specialised and continuous training. Initial teacher training is carried out in higher education institutions – polytechnic and universities – with the Masters degree being the minimum academic qualification for the teaching profession, according to the changes introduced within the Bologna Process. To enter the profession it is necessary to possess a professional qualification conferred by a polytechnic or a university for the cycle or recruitment group one is applying to, and pass the knowledge and competencies test (designed to evaluate scientific readiness) as well as obtain, at least, the mark of Good in the performance assessment of the probationary period (to assess pedagogic and didactic competencies). Access to the teaching employment in the public sector is done via national application, based on academic qualification and professional experience.
During the kindergarden and Basic Education, the government assures, through specific criteria, some welfare measures to students needing social and economic support, being helped through a compensation in canteen fees, transportation, lodging, school books and scholarships.
Parents’ cooperation is quite important in the Portuguese schools. They participate , through their representatives, in the: General Council Class Teachers Assembly Each class has a director who’s responsible for the work related to that class and sets contacts throughout the year between parents and school.
General Council Directive board AdministrativePedagogic board board
General Council is the body responsible for the definition of guidelines for school activities and the participation and representation of the educational community; Executive Board the administration and management board of the school/school cluster in teaching, cultural administrative and financial areas. The executive board is made up of one Director, one Vice-Director and two assistants. The Pedagogical Board responsible for the educational co-ordination and guidance of the school/school cluster. The Administrative Board takes decisions about the administrative and financial matters. It is made up of the President and one of the Vice-Presidents of the executive board and one of the President’s assistant.
Pre -School, Basic and Secondary Schools and School Clusters. A School Cluster is an organisational unit with its own administration and management set up vertically, which includes pre-school, 1st, 2nd, 3rd cycle schools and upper secondary education, based on a common teaching plan.