The faculty Spanish has emerged from the aging crisis as a result of the severe restrictions imposed on the entry of new teaching staff into the public system during the years of cuts. While the OECD recommends that for every two teachers over 50 there is one under 30, in Spain that ratio is six to one, according to the report presented yesterday by the Federation of Education of Workers Commissions on the occasion of the start of the course.
In eight years, the largest age group among professors in public schools and institutes has become 50 to 59, when in 2009 it was 40 to 49. Teachers under 30 have been reduced by 45% . Those between 60 and 64 have increased by 93% – although they remain a relatively small group. And two out of every three teachers are now over 40 years old, according to the study prepared by CC OO with the latest available data, corresponding to the 2017-2018 academic year.
"The serious thing is not that there are older teachers, that there are many excellent ones, but that there is no renewal underneath. From a certain age, teachers often lose the rhythm of the resources that appear in a digital society such as ours, and that are the usual language of the students, and it’s not just technology, young teachers have a generational proximity that allows them to be closer to the way students build knowledge, to know what songs they hear, what movies they watch and what types of relationships they have facilitates interaction. There are older teachers who are sensitive to it, but others are not, "says Miquel Martínez, Professor of Education Theory at the University of Barcelona. "We should facilitate the early retirement of those who are tired and put new people next to good experienced teachers, who are not going to want to leave because they enjoy what they are doing," he continues.
In 2010, in the middle of the economic storm, the Socialist Government established the so-called replacement rate in the places of teaching officials of 30%, which meant that of every 10 retirements only three could be covered. In 2012, the PP tightened the limit to one in 10 and abolished the incentives for early retirements of teachers from the 60s. In parallel, staff extensions through the hiring of interim workers were blocked. In order for the system to endure, the ratio of students per classroom was increased and the teachers' working day was extended.
One of the results was the accelerated aging of the templates, which Empar Barranco, an English teacher and head of studies at the public institute of Benaguasil (Valencia) has observed: "There are many people of my generation, between 50 and 59 years old, teaching. It is a problem because of the technological aspect and also because we will retire many at once. The best thing for a center is the mixture of generations, which enriches the way of seeing things. " An opinion shared by Desiré Martín, 27, a children's teacher at a school in Madrid: "The best are the teams of different ages. I learn a lot from the older ones and I believe that young people provide energy and enthusiasm."
José Ruiz, responsible for Public Education of Workers' Commissions and coordinator of the report, believes that the rejuvenating effect of the two great oppositions held in 2018 and 2019, which have added 51,000 places, will be scarce, because around 80% of the places are occupied by interim, whose age was already taken into account in the calculation.
Retirements were able to cover 100% again in 2016. But the replacement rate is still valid and acts as a cap on public job offers. Only places corresponding to retirement and positions that have been temporarily covered for at least three years can be filled. The only way that the communities have had, therefore, to recover the number of teachers – which at 5 January amounted to 511,250, 2,214 less than at the beginning of the crisis – is by hiring interim, laments the socialist Miguel Soler, regional secretary of the Valencian Generalitat.
A circumstance that reduces the impact that the oppositions held these last two courses are having on the reduction of the volume of interim. And that, according to CC OO, "condemns the system to chronic temporality." The union estimates that temporary employment remains above 21% – the objective agreed with the Government plans to reduce it to 8% – and estimates that it will be necessary to summon another 89,000 seats until 2022 to reduce it.
Nor has it helped the stabilization of teachers the 1,780 vacancies that left the suspense in the June oppositions. A huge call – 30,462 places for which 185,173 people were presented – focused mainly on the body of teachers, for which many applicants had been studying for years.
The distribution by specialties of the uncovered places was very uneven, according to the count made by Working Commissions. It reached 1.6% among teachers, 14.8% in high school and 31% in Vocational Training. And there were also great territorial differences. The unfilled places rose to 21% in the Balearic Islands; to 14.8% in the Valencian Community; 10% in Catalonia and 7.4% in Galicia. In the rest of the communities they accounted for less than 2%.
The head of Public Education of CC OO, who is committed to suppressing the eliminatory nature of the exams that make up the opposition attributes the territorial disparity to the different evaluation criteria applied in the communities. And also randomly. The type of exam and the syllabus are common throughout Spain, but the issues on which it is asked are decided by lot in each autonomy. The most affected say they will reconvene the places that have been deserted next year.
In the results of the June competitions, the result of Vocational Training stands out, in which one third of the places were vacant. José Ruiz, responsible for Public Education of Working Commissions attributes it to the fact that it is a training branch with many "small specialties" to which few people are presented.
An argument similar to the Department of Education of the Balearic Islands, the community where more places were left, including half of the 168 summoned in FP. A spokeswoman points out that in this autonomy the candidates did not present themselves to the whole territory, but to a single island, which caused that in some specialties very few candidates were presented.
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