Warsaw / October 30, 2023
For years, Poland has been grappling with a persistent crisis in its education system. Prior to elections, every new government believes it has a vision for Polish education. However, post-election, the issue often takes a back seat. Poland faces a shortage of teachers, with the average age of active educators being 47 years.
Recent graduates in pedagogical studies prefer seeking employment in corporations, where they can earn several times more than the meager starting salary of €620 net for novice teachers.
Those who do choose to pursue teaching often find themselves juggling multiple jobs at various schools to make ends meet, resulting in fatigue and frustration that can lead to burnout. To ensure the continuity of Poland's education system, retirees are being recruited to fill the gaps.
The current government assumed that as school enrollments decline due to demographic changes, the staff shortage would naturally resolve itself. However, the problem runs deeper. As experienced teachers retire, they will be replaced by individuals who may lack the same level of commitment and expertise.
A significant issue also lies in the students themselves. The increasing reliance on mobile phones, coupled with a lack of appropriate regulations in schools, has led to a scenario where many students are addicted to their devices, stifling critical thinking, fostering apathy, and diminishing interest in school curriculum.
The COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions have further exacerbated the situation, resulting in a growing number of 10-year-olds struggling with reading and writing. The demand for psychological support for students is on the rise, yet there is a lack of comprehensive studies to quantify the extent of concentration problems and depressive moods.
Parents of students have exceptionally high expectations for the education system, but often lack the time to actively engage in their children's education and provide essential support.
Furthermore, the diminishing social status of teachers has led to a troubling paradox: students' parents want their children to be educated by teachers they disdain.
This combination of factors has given rise to a society increasingly inundated with meaningless internet content, rendering it incapable of emotional self-regulation, critical thinking, and highly susceptible to the influence of large media conglomerates. This has the
potential to turn rapidly advancing technology into a tool for manipulating a thoughtless and morally degrading society.