The increase, at well over 10,000 nationwide, appears to contradict claims that an education reform devised by the government would lead to a massive loss of jobs among teachers, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily newspaper reported on Thursday.
In the central Mazowieckie province alone, the number of employed teachers has grown by 3,000, and in the southern Małopolskie province it has shot up by around 6,000, the daily said. A similar trend has been reported in other regions, it added.
According to Sławomir Broniarz, head of the Polish Teachers’ Union (ZNP), some 35,000 teachers and school administration employees may still lose their jobs over the next three years as a result of the reform, which the government launched in September.
“The worst is still ahead of us,” Broniarz said, as quoted by the newspaper.
According to data presented by the union in mid-October, some 6,500 teachers have lost their jobs as a result of the education reform and 18.5 percent have seen their working hours cut and pay reduced or have been forced to work in several schools to keep their paychecks from shrinking.
The education ministry has dismissed the data as unreliable, according to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
"Until recently, we heard claims that some 100,000 teachers would be fired, at another time there were suggestions that about 37,000 jobs would be lost," Education Minister Anna Zalewska told the daily.
"Nobody knows what kind of calculation method the ZNP uses," she added, as quoted by the paper.
The education ministry plans to unveil its own, official, statistics next week, according to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
As part of the education reform, Poland will phase out a system of six-year primary school, three-year middle school and three-year high school and replace it with an earlier model of eight years of primary school and four years of high school or five years of vocational training.
Source: fakty.interia.pl, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna