Teachers’ career track in vocational education

Now that the agreement on the importance of a career track for teachers and the need to legislate intelligently to improve it and develop incentives to exercise it has been cleared away, one of the aspects that needs special analysis is the proposal to impede the exercise of the profession by individuals that do not hold university degrees as teachers, without exceptions.

Nationwide, there is a deficit of teachers with degrees in Pedagogy in technical/professional secondary education, which currently corresponds to 41% of enrollment at this level. These are around 1000 lyceums, both municipal and subsidized-private schools, with an estimated 8600 instructors who give classes in different specialties, out of which only 52% have a professional title in the field of pedagogy.

Finding instructors for different specialties, especially the ones that are currently showing trends towards key-productive developments for the country, with pedagogic competency and also with up-to-date experience in the productive area, is one of the most serious difficulties that T/P principals and sustainers go through today. Additionally, instructors who have a degree or training in pedagogy are often the ones with the highest levels of obsolescence in achieving pertinence and learning quality in every productive sector and its specialties.

Experience indicates that a good specialty instructor is one who has up-to-date technical competency in a particular productive sector and also has some pedagogical formation. But there are interesting options to explore to ensure that the latter requirement does not necessarily involve a long process of initial formation, which distances the instructor from the development of activities in productive areas or disconnects them from their original vocational option.

Mastery of the necessary skills in the productive sphere should constitute the fundamental condition for the hiring of teaching personnel in technical/professional lyceums’ specialties. Frequently, such people come from economic sectors with high employment demand, which means that attracting people who can contribute with their experience requires flexible measures and incentives, not that this means denying the quality or rigorousness of these requirements.

It is necessary that the parties involved in the legislative discussion consider this situation with pragmatism and allow the establishment of conditions for instructors’ exercise in technical/professional education, along with moving ahead on a policy and resources for the strengthening of this modality that permits a resolution of the problems that currently beset it.


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