Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country on the Iberian Peninsula. Located in southwestern Europe, Portugal is the westernmost country of mainland Europe and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. The Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are also part of Portugal.
Its population is nearly 10,600,000.
Its capital is Lisbon.
The land within the borders of the current Portuguese Republic has been continuously settled since prehistoric times. In the 8th century most of the Iberian Peninsula was conquered by Moorish invaders professing Islam, which were later expelled by the Knights Templar. It was integrated into the Roman Republic and colonized by Germanic peoples (as Suevi and Visigoths), giving up in the seventh century the Moors conquest land. During the Christian reconquest it was formed the Portucalense county integrated, in the first in the Kingdom of Galicia and then in the Kingdom of León. In 1139 it was established the Kingdom of Portugal, whose independence was established in 1143. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries Portugal expanded western influence as a result of pioneering the Age of Discovery, establishing an important empire with possessions in Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America, becoming the economic power, political and military more important to worldwide, which lasted almost 600 years since the conquest of Ceuta to Macau transference to China in 1999, beginning here its international importance declination in the nineteenth century with the independence of Brazil (its largest colony). In 1910 the monarchy was overthrown and started the First Portuguese Republic which instability culminated in the imposition of an autocratic regime called New State (Estado Novo). In 1974, after the Carnation Revolution (Revolução dos cravos), which ended with the Portuguese Colonial War (which culminated in the independence of the last overseas provinces of Portugal, namely Angola and Mozambique), introduced to Portuguese democracy, prevailing at that time. In 1976 a Democratic Constitution was approved (main law that regulates the Portuguese Republic and all other laws) and set up the local political powers (municipalities) and autonomous regional governments of the Azores and Madeira. Although considered a developed country Portugal has a Human Development Index (HDI) very high, which has been declined in recent years (40 th place among 47 countries in 2010). Of note is the fact that both the health system and the education are public. Considered one of the most globalized and peaceful nations of the World, Portugal was a founding member of the United Nations (UN), European Union (including the Eurozone and the Schengen Area), the Organization of the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). In 1999 Portugal joined the Eurozone and in 2000 Portugal adopted the the euro (€) currency. The country is presently a democratic republic with a president (currently Aníbal Cavaco Silva) and prime minister (currently Pedro Passos Coelho).  Portugal is nowadays going through a big economic and financial crisis. Statistically Its population is 10,561,614, of which 547,631 live in Lisbon, the country's capital and largest city, located in the South, and 237,584 in Porto, also known as Oporto. It has suffered an increase in the aging population in the last decade (about 19% of the population aged 65 or older) and an increase in the educational level of the population - 1,262,449 individuals college degree - (double the figure a decade ago)
Education in Portugal
In the '60s became general idea of the need of having studies increasingly long and ambitious, and then, although we live in an authoritarian regime that thought school in a directive way, it was extending, now, the scholarity for six years . In 1964, establishing The Center for the Study of Education Audiovisual, aiming an intense cultural dissemination through radio and television, but it was in the beginning of the following school year, in October 1965, which was formally School by TV (Telescola) in the air, broadcasting from the studios of Mount Virgin in Vila Nova de Gaia. Emissions from Telescola mark an important step in the life of Portuguese Television Radio (RTP - Rádio Televisão Portuguesa) and especially in the panorama of education in Portugal, being a joint implementation between RTP and the Ministry of National Education. Knowing little of the culture that had then been installed televisions in the country not only in schools but also in factories, houses and many other local people, because the television was on assignment for the clarification of thought and freedom of the individual (http://www.rtp.pt/web/historiartp/1960/telescola.htm.). In post April 25 - 1974 - (time when Portuguese Democarcia has established) the TV preparatory education becomes one of the three branches of the 5th and 6th years of compulsory education. In 1986 it was published the Law of the Education System which bringing changes that still prevail making primary education universal, compulsory and free and with a duration of nine years comprising three sequential cycles (the 7th, 8th and 9th grades shall become third cycle of this instruction preceded by the 5th and 6th grade constituting the 2nd cycle of primary and 1st cycle consists in four years, and succeeded by 3 years - 10, 11 and 12 years - forming secondary education). There are enshrined in this law the right to education and culture for all children, ensuring the training of all young people for working life, the right to a fair and effective equal opportunities, freedom of learning and teaching as well as training of youth and adults who have left the system (recurrent education) and educational improvement of the entire population. The same act created a new organization of the education system, which includes the pre-school education, school education and extracurricular education (covering activities in literacy, basic education and in the initiation and professional improvement ). The Education Act establishes a broad set of general principles, recognizing the right to education for all, equal opportunity seeking success and personal fulfillment of individuals. It also establishes a non denominational public education and the right to establish nonpublic schools (including private, cooperatives and religious). The law 85/2009 amends the regime of compulsory education setting it now in the 12th grade (or 18 years) for children and young and devotes the universality of preschool education for children as young as 5 years old. The XXI century is full of reforms and programs aimed at improving the education system (primary and secondary), literacy levels in the country and the integration of new information technologies and communication in people's lives, walking alongside Portugal its European partners. Thus in 2001 came the reorganization of basic education curriculum, as well as the creation of Recognition, Validation and Certification of Competencies (RVCC) - Member States, the Commission, the EEA-EFTA and accession countries and the social partners at European level, following the Copenhagen Declaration, the resolution of the Council considered that the identification and validation of non-formal and informal serve the needs of the learner. They support social integration, employability and the development and utilization of human resources in civic, social and economic context. They also meet the specific needs of individuals who seek integration or (re) integrate into the education and training, in labor market and in society -; in 2004 there is a new Reform of Secondary Education, in 2005 the principle of school at full time in the 1st cycle establishes itself and English becomes an integrated subject in this cycle of education (and in 2006/2007 are released other Extra Curricular Activities - AECs - seeking to consolidate the idea of full-time school); in 2006 appears the inicitaiva "New Opportunities" which aims to extend the minimum training reference to 12th grade whose strategy rests on two pillars: making vocational education an option for young people and effectively raise the basic training of the workforce. It is also integrated in this year in Primary and Secondary National Reading Plan (Plano Nacional de Leitura) (in a phased manner- 1st phase from 2007 to 2011; 2nd phase from 2012 that has as its central objective to raise literacy levels of the Portuguese and put the country abreast of our European partners. In 2007 arises the Technological Plan for Education (PTE), which emerged as the largest program of technological modernization of Portuguese schools and it was intended to interconnect an integrated manner and coherent effort unique in the technological infra-structure of schools, in providing content and services online and in strengthening ICT skills of students and teachers. With the ambition to put Portugal among the five most advanced European countries in terms of technological modernization of schools by 2010, PTE has emerged as an opportunity to transform Portuguese schools into interactivity spaces and sharing without barriers, preparing new generations for challenges of the knowledge society. Presently the Ministry of Education and Science (MEC) through the Directorate General of Education (DGE) has, Among the several duties, to coordinate, monitor and provide direction in terms scientific-pedagogical and didactic activities for education pre-school and school, covering the arrangements for special education and distance learning, including Portuguese schools overseas and Portuguese teaching abroad, in conjunction with the service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for managing the respective network emerging promoter as well as a panoply of activities and projects at the level of basic and secondary , both nationally and internationally of which are:
- Network on Early Childhood Education and Care - Project Network from OCDE
- More School Success Program (Programa Mais Sucesso Escolar)
- From Programs and Projects related to Portuguese stand out from:
- National Programme for the Teaching of Portuguese (PNEP): it was created in 2006-7, to meet the challenge and the need to improve the teaching of Portuguese in the first cycle of basic education, particularly in reading comprehension and oral and written expression. Within this programme and to promote integration, the MoE has drawn up an action plan to meet the needs of about 80,000 students of other nationalities who attend Portuguese schools. The first step was to establish a new system of equivalences for foreign qualifications: the second measure requires the development of activities of effective support for students who have Portuguese as a second language. Students with Portuguese as a second language will be included in three groups of language proficiency –beginner, intermediate and advanced – depending on the result of a diagnosis, and will follow individualized paths.
- National Reading Plan (Plano Nacional de Leitura - PNL -) An initiative in action since 2007 that has as its central objective to raise literacy levels of the Portuguese and put the country alongside of our European partners. It is an initiative of the Government, the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, in coordination with the Ministry of Culture and the Office of the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, being taken be a political priority. It aims to create conditions for the Portuguese can reach reading levels where they feel fully able to deal with the written word, in any circumstance of life, can interpret the information provided by the media, access to knowledge of science and enjoy the great works of literature.
- From Programs and Projects for Mathematics stand out:
- Mathematics Program of Basic Education: The Readjustment Program Mathematics Primary School is one of the actions outlined in the Action Plan for Mathematics resulting from a restructuring program in place since 1991, to suit the National Curriculum for Teaching basic. The implementation of this measure involved an invitation to a team of experts and researchers in the areas of Mathematics and Mathematics Education. This readjustment, now called New Math Program for Primary Education, was to draw up a single document that includes for each cycle of basic education objectives, mathematical topics, methodological guidelines and aspects of curriculum management and assessment .
- Mathematics Action Plan: In June 2006, taking into account the assessment made by teachers of mathematics and reflection on the results of the Mathematics 9th grade in 2005, the MoE set out an action plan for mathematics. This plan aims mainly at improving the teaching of mathematics through six actions, namely: 1) to implement the Mathematics Programme: teams for success (consists in supporting specific school projects aimed at improving mathematics results); 2) To promote in-service training in mathematics for all teachers from primary to lower secondary school level (1st to 9th grade); 3) To set new conditions for initial teacher training and access to teaching; 4) To carry out adjustment of the mathematics curriculum and specifications and teacher training;5) To create a database of educational resources for mathematics: 6) Assessing the textbooks of Mathematics for Basic Education.
- Plan of implementation Program New Math: the implementation of this measure, in addition to experience with pilot classes in the school year 2008/9, were supporting materials to the new math program (5 brochures to support the work of teachers about: Numbers, Álgebra, Geometry, Organization and data processing transversal capabilities; materials intended for use in the classroom, with proposed tasks for the three cycles of basic education; a Website that includes support materials (texts, lesson plans, assignments, reports experiences in the classroom, etc ...) and an online support for teachers.)
- From Programmes and Projects for the Experimental Sciences it highlight:
- Experimental Science in Elementary Education: This program, initiated in 2006, involved a training plan, nationwide, and the production and availability of educational resources for Teacher Trainers and the Teachers of the 1st Cycle, based on the recognition of the Experimental Science Education in the early years of schooling, it is essential for the development of students' scientific literacy and the development of skills necessary to carry on an informed citizenship. All materials produced under this program are available to the entire educational community in Directorate General for Innovation and Curriculum Development (Direção Geral de Inovação e Desenvolvimento Curricular - DGIDC) page and can be used in teacher training and in classroom practice of teachers this level of education.
- Experimental Science in Secondary Education: demands the implementation of a new teaching of the sciences. This project has some publicationsand materials.
- Science Olympiad European Union (EUSO)
- Project Electron SCHOOL: is an initiative of Amb3E (Portuguese Association of Waste Management of Electronic Equipment), supported by the Directorate-General for Innovation and Curriculum Development and the Portuguese Environment Agency, which aims to sensitize students, the school community and the surrounding community for the correct routing Waste Electrical and Electronic (WEEE, REEE in portuguese), by combined effect of dissemination actions and the involvement in a competition among schools.
- Experimental Science – Training Teachers Programme: The purpose of Education in Science, as part of the overall educational experience of all young people, is to prepare them for a full and satisfying life in the world of the twenty-first century. More specifically, the science curriculum should: a) Encourage enthusiasm for and interest in science so that young people feel confident and competent to engage with scientific and technical subject; b) Help young people to acquire a broad general understanding of important ideas and explanatory foundations of science and procedures of scientific inquiry which have the greatest impact on our environment and our culture in general; c) Facilitate the deepening of knowledge when it is necessary either for the personal interest of the students or to motivate them for a professional career The following were also defined as priority areas for teacher training: Mathematics, Portuguese Experimental Science Education, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Special Education and English in the 1st grade.
For a general description of education in Portugal see Education:Portugal.
For a description more focussed to e-learning see E-learning:Portugal.
(taken from Re.ViCa)
A major review of the accreditation and quality assurance practices of Portuguese higher education is being performed by an international review committee formed through the European Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, ENQA, following a request made by the Government in November 2005. The review committee provides advice on the current legal framework supporting accreditation and quality assurance methodologies, as ,well as on appropriate structures for implementing a national accreditation and evaluation agency following current best quality assurance and accreditation practices in Europe.
http://www.enqa.eu/files/EPHEreport.pdf The article of the twente University gives an overview how the recommendations of the ENQUa review are translated into the education policies;
Law 38/2007 of 16 August sets out the legal framework for the evaluation of higher education institutions and study programmes.
Quality assurance of higher education in Portugal has been based on the Higher Education Evaluation Act 1994. This act was closely developed in cooperation with the Conference of Rectors of Public Universities (CRUP) and forms the backbone of what is widely termed “the contractual model”. The act resulted in the establishment of CNAVES as a national agency for quality assurance of higher education. The act was highly inspired by the Dutch model and retains many characteristics from this, including, above all, placing responsibility for the quality assurance system with an organisation representing the institutions of higher education. The contractual model, which reflects the large extent of institutional representation through the representative entities and evaluation councils, has created a strong sense of ownership and commitment to the quality assurance processes, which would otherwise have been extremely difficult to achieve. The model was fit for purpose at the time of its establishment, but was from the early days also associated with a number of weaknesses, which are analysed in this review. Ten years of CNAVES’s evaluations have, however, also accumulated a number of positive experiences that should be considered carried over into a new quality assurance system.
The Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior or the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES)
The Portuguese state created this private law foundation, by means of Decree-Law no. 369/2007, of 5th November, aiming at promoting and ensuring the quality of higher education. The Agency is a private law foundation, established for an indeterminate period of time, with legal status and recognised as being of public utility. The Agency is independent in its decisions, without prejudice of the guidelines fixed by the State. Its web site is: http://www.a3es.pt
(taken from VISCED)
School inspection is an autonomous activity, and the body responsible for assessing the quality of the education system is the Inspectorate-General for Education (IGE) www.ige.min-edu.pt/_PT. It looks at the administrative/financial level and pedagogical level and produces reports on the situation. Another central department, GEPE (Education Planning and Statistics Office, www.gepe.min-edu.pt), is in charge of the educational statistics; it collects data every year on many issues. One of the statistical tools focuses specifically on ICT – equipment, infrastructure, connectivity, software, and online services. With the cooperation of Higher Education institutions an Observatory for the Technological Plan for Education has also been created. The last major ICT in school survey in our country in the last 12 months was a diagnostic study of the technological modernisation of the school system in Portugal (Estudo de Diagnóstico: a modernização tecnológica do sistema de ensino em Portugal)
Internet in Portugal
Internet in Education
The Plano Tecnológico da Educação (Technological Plan for Education – PTE) intends to place Portugal among the five most advanced European countries in terms of school’s technological modernisation. The main areas of intervention of the PTE are Technology, Contents and teacher Training. These areas integrate in a transversal way every domain related to the modernisation of the Portuguese school system. Within the PTE several initiatives have been launched, including:
- High-speed broadband Internet – to ensure high-speed broadband Internet access among schools;
- Internet in the classroom / local area networks – to ensure Internet access in all classrooms and all school spaces;
- Programme e.escola 2.0 – following the previous programme (e-escola) this new programme, designed to meet the Digital Agenda's objectives, focus on three main aims: to guarantee the continuity of access to laptops and Internet connection, with special conditions for the educative community; to promote the creation and use of digital content; and, to foster the use of next-generation networks (1)
Copyright law in Portugal
Copyright law in Education
OER Initiatives in Portugal
In its response to the OECD questionnaire, Portugal reported that it has chosen to focus its OER efforts on young children (ISCED sectors 1 to 3). (2)
National OER initiatives
Portal das Escolas
- Within the PTE a repository of digital contents for teachers and students called Portal das Escolas (Schools’ Portal), has been created. In the Schools’ Portal it is possible to find relevant information about the schools and their educational communities and a repository that offers over a thousand digital educational resources that can be used in teaching. This repository of digital educational resources can include text, images, videos or music. Registered users can also upload resources. All schools in the country are represented on the website and may disseminate educational initiatives and information of interest to the general public. Schools’ Portal is a new digital platform of reference for schools in Portugal, and was built with a modular logic and services will be available gradually. In the first phase, the portal is aimed at teachers and focuses on a key objective of the Technological Plan for Education, which is the use of digital educational resources in education. It is possible for teachers to access the existing contents, but also contribute as authors to the enrichment of the content repository. After being duly registered in the Schools’ Portal, with data validated by the Ministry of Education (MoE), teachers in public education up to 12th grade can upload educational resources into this repository. To ensure that the Schools’ Portal is a space in which each user can see material and information that will be useful for their school, professional and academic life, the MoE will adopt mechanisms for validation of these user-provided educational resources before they are made available. The Schools’ Portal is the largest collaborative network of education in Portugal, stimulating the production, sharing and use of digital content for the teachers’ community. (1)
- The e-Escolinha programme aimed at all pupils in the first years of state and private schools. Its goal is to guarantee the general use of computers and the internet, in order to promote access to knowledge. In this context the Government distributed the personal computer Magalhães1 to these children. This computer is specifically designed for children in this age range. It is shock and liquid proof, light and small and yet can be used by the whole family. Magalhães is supplied with educational contents which are specially selected for these children and equipped for internet access (www.eescolinha.gov.pt). (1)
Regional OER initiatives
Institutional OER initiatives
- INE, Censos 2011, preliminary results in http://censos.ine.pt/xportal/xmain?xpid=CENSOS&xpgid=ine_censos_publicacao_det&menuBOUI=13707294&contexto=pu&PUBLICACOESpub_boui=122073978&PUBLICACOESmodo=2&selTab=tab1
- S/autor, Breve Evolução Histórica do Sistema Educativo, Ministério da Educação in http://www.oei.es/quipu/portugal/historia.pdf
- Conselho da União Europeia, Projecto de conclusões do Conselho e dos representantes dos Governos dos Estados-Membros reunidos no Conselho sobre princípios comuns europeus de identificação e de validação da aprendizagem não-formal e informal, 10 Maio de 2004 in http://www.iefp.pt/formacao/RVCC/Documents/PRINCPIOS%20COMUNS%202004_PT.pdf
- Onde estão os números, micro rede do Economia & Finanças in http://estatisticasenumeros.economiafinancas.com/2010/01/estatisticas-da-educacao-em-portugal-1961-a-2008/
- PLano Nacional de Leitura, Ministério da Educação, Governo de Portugal http://www.planonacionaldeleitura.gov.pt/pnltv/apresentacao.php?idDoc=7
- Plano Tecnológico da Educação, Governo de Portugal in http://www.pte.gov.pt/pte/PT/OPTE/index.htm
- Direção Geral da Educação, Programas e Projetos nas Escolas - Outros Projetos da DGE, Ministério da Educação e Ciência, in http://www.dgidc.min-edu.pt/outrosprojetos/index.php
- Plano Nacional de Leitura, Ministério da Educação, Governo de Portugal in http://www.planonacionaldeleitura.gov.pt/pnltv/apresentacao.php?idDoc=1
- Direção Geral de Educação, Programas e Projetos nas EscolasOutros Projetos da DGE, Ministério da Educação in http://www.dgidc.min-edu.pt/outrosprojetos/index.php?s=directorio&pid=53
- Direção Geral de Educação, Programas e Projetos nas Escolas - Outros Projetos da DGE, Ministério da Educação in http://www.dgidc.min-edu.pt/outrosprojetos/index.php?s=directorio&pid=4
- Direção Geral de Educação, Programas e Projetos nas Escolas - Outros Projetos da DGE, Ministério da Educação in http://www.dgidc.min-edu.pt/outrosprojetos/index.php?s=directorio&pid=4
1. ReVica/VISCED page for Portugal (http://virtualcampuses.eu/index.php/Portugal)
2. Hylén, J. et al. (2012), “Open Educational Resources: Analysis of Responses to the OECD Country Questionnaire”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 76, OECD Publishing. http://oer.unescochair-ou.nl/?wpfb_dl=38