In response, Education Minister Martin Polaschek (ÖVP) launched a personnel campaign in autumn 2022 under the title “Class Job”. In the first part, career changers in particular were courted, and since the end of February the new target group has been high school graduates. There is resistance to the campaign in schools.
This not only includes advertising subjects in schools and in social media. The Ministry of Education has also asked teachers in a letter to make teaching palatable to high school graduates and thus contribute to the “positive narrative of the teaching profession”. However, this did not go down well with all addressees due to the sometimes difficult working conditions in the schools. As a reaction, according to a report in the “Standard” (Tuesday edition), an initiative entitled “Krasser Job” was founded immediately after receiving the letter. It is now called “School on Fire” in reference to other current protests in the education sector. She has announced several protest actions for the coming months.
The initiative, supported by the “Platform for Teachers’ Protests”, calls for a “radical improvement in working conditions”. As immediate measures, she calls on her website for, among other things, shorter working hours, smaller classes, quiet places to reduce stress, the use of multi-professional teams, outsourcing of administrative activities, and the abolition of tests that are perceived as pointless, such as the iKM PLUS (successor to the educational standards) or the MIKA-D tests for allocation in German remedial classes. The latter are to be abolished, as is the division into AHS lower levels, middle schools and special schools.
The initiators of “School on Fire” also see a need for action in teacher training. Here Polaschek has announced a restructuring or a reduction for the secondary level (middle school, AHS, BMHS) as a measure. Instead, the initiative advocates dual training. Due to the lack of staff, thousands are already teaching alongside their teacher training course, but neither the schools nor the universities are currently sufficiently equipped for this entanglement. However, the basic requirement for practical teacher training would be exemptions from schools and sufficient courses.
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