Pink-slipped teacher banks on fun | Portugal | DW | 22.04.2013
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Pink-slipped teacher banks on fun

In Portugal, the number of unemployed teachers is rising. While the government is busy saving on education, young teachers are getting creative in order to survive. Pedro Mourao, for example, founded a business.

For a long time, Pedro's life went according to plan. He studied, graduated and got a job at a prestigious school - albeit on a temporary contract. Up until last spring, he saw the word "temporary" as nothing more than a stepping stone to greater security.

The pupils loved him, parents and colleagues were happy with his work, so what could go wrong? Plenty, as it turns out, because just around the time he was expecting his permanent contract, he was made redundant. And with his girlfriend pregnant with their first child, the timing could not have been worse.

No security for teachers

"The government's austerity policies are making the situation for teachers in Portugal really hard," said teacher Vitor Miranda, who is active in the teachers' union FENPROF. He says a lack of job security is making if very hard to plan for the future in Portugal, and that growing numbers of teachers are looking for alternatives.

Among them is Pedro Mourao. He doesn't want to be dependent on the ministry for education, so he and four friends started a business called ATIV'arte, which translates to "keep moving."

The group of sports and art teachers and one Internet and marketing expert use their experience to organize children's birthday celebrations, and offer dance workshops or soccer training. As they are only just starting out, the five friends do whatever they can to raise their company's profile.

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Creative career change

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