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Teachers cry SOS

Czech teachers are angry and they aim to show it on Tuesday. They plan a full-day strike to force politicians to stop making promises and actually raise their low wages.

  • Autor: Respekt
• Autor: Respekt

Czech teachers are angry and they aim to show it on Tuesday. They plan a full-day strike to force politicians to stop making promises and actually raise their low wages. But the action is also aimed at the public – forcing people to decide whether or not they want to have teachers who are angry and poor.

Although it is no longer strictly his business, new Czech Airlines employee Jan Pavelka will join Tuesday's protest. „I still feel like a teacher to the core,“ the 28-year-old said. „By coming to the rally, I want to support my colleagues and their demands.“ The nationwide strike of 215,000 elementary- and secondary-school teachers has stirred strong emotions. Unions declared the protest the last resort to let the cabinet know that teachers are fed up with low salaries and cuts in spending on school-modernisation projects. Ex-teacher Pavelka's story shows where the government's approach might lead in practice.

Tesco as an option

By the time he was a secondary-school student Pavelka already liked working with children. On summer holidays he worked in camps as an instructor, and his ambition to teach began to form. After grammar school he studied teaching (mathematics and IT) at the Faculty of Science and graduated with good results after four years.

He became a teacher four years ago, during a crucial period. The Education Ministry was planning a revolution in elementary…

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