Natal Brazil

Information about the city of Natal, in Brazil.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Teachers of Natal to strike

Teachers who are employed by the municipality of Natal are at a strike.
They started the strike last Monday, Feb. 13th, when children were supposed to start the 2006 school year.
These teachers work with children of the elementary level (children aged 6 to 15 y.o.), which in Brazil comprises now 9 years (before a law was passed last year, the elementary level in Brazil had only 8 years).
According to this report by Tribuna do Norte, there are 800 teachers at strike, and about 58,000 students are being affected.
Teachers are asking for a raise in salary of 33%. According to the Teachers Union, a teacher with Doctorate who works for the Municipality is paid R$ 681,00 monthly (at current exchange rates, this is about US$ 300 monthly); still according to the Union, this is the same salary which is paid by the State of Rio Grande do Norte to a teacher without Doctorate.

Unfortunately, this only shows how little value Brazilians give to their teachers and to education in general. It is difficult to believe that these low salaries will attract motivated teachers, who in turn should stimulate children to study. Most middle class families (including mine) prefer to send their children to private schools, and stop caring about the quality of public education. A good private elementary school in Natal costs about R$ 300 monthly for tuition only; in Rio and São Paulo, it can easily reach R$ 1,000 monthly.

On the other hand, the main headline of Tribuna do Norte today reads: "Court of Justice to dismiss relatives". Until last year, Judges could appoint anyone (including relatives) to public offices called "trusting positions" (for example, many wives were appointed Secretaries by the respective husbands, under the argument that "I trust my wife, and she is a capable secretary"). Salaries for such positions were typically between R$ 2,000 and R$ 5,0000 (and higher at Federal level); the wife of a Judge gets paid 5 times more than a teacher.
It was necessary a decision by the National Council of Justice to prohibit this practice. Even so, many Judges appealed from the decision to the Supreme Court, arguing it was unconstitutional. Last week, the Supreme Court declared the decision was to be obeyed.
Tribuna do Norte says that 115 people will be dismissed today. Many Judges say that they are being treated with injustice!!


Blogger Rita said...

Hi, I am interestedinNatal and the private school in it, is there a bilingual private school? and what times do kids in elementary school attend class?

3:36 AM  
Blogger bestusedcarrs said...

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3:58 AM  
Blogger uderhood said...

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6:58 PM  
Blogger Issamu said...

As far as I know, there are no official bilingual schools in Natal; by official schools, I mean a school whose diploma is recognized in other countries (there are American Schools in Recife, Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro).
All private schools teach English after the 5th year, I believe (this is law).
By law, kids in elementary schools must spend a minimum of about 5 hours daily. Some schools offer complementary courses, such as languages, dance, martial arts, etc (but they are not obliged to, and these courses must be paid separately).
Many specialists in Education say that Brazilian children spend too little time in school.

3:09 AM  

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