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2023-09-13 at 15h34

António Costa stresses the "outstanding contribution" public schools have made to the country

The Prime Minister with the Mayor of Porto at the re-opening of Alexandre Herculano School. Photo: Fernando Veludo/ LUSA

The Prime Minister stressed this Wednesday the "outstanding contribution" made by public schools to the country, underlining the evolution of indicators such as early dropout rates, which in 2000 was 44% and now stands at 6%. And although some may claim public schools no longer operate as a social lever, António Costa argues this point by quoting the number of students who got into the Aerospace Engineering degree at Minho University, the degree with the highest average in the country. The minimum grade for access was 18.8 [out of 20] and the highest 19.7; "Of the 30 students who got in, 26 came from public schools. This shows that public schools do what they are supposed to do ". 

António Costa attended the start of the school year at Alexandre Herculano Secondary School (ESAH) in Porto, a centuries-old institution that is reopening its doors to students after major restoration works. At the end of the visit, the Prime Minister, who was with the Minister of Education and the Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, indicated this school as a "fine example" of the joint work between the State and municipalities. 

Please note that the historical school from Porto was restored through an agreement signed between the Government and the municipality, to a total investment of 14 million euros borne by the Ministry of Education and the municipality, to which European funds were added. Rui Moreira also described this agreement as a "virtuous partnership".

António Costa indicated the decentralisation of powers to the municipalities, as well as the autonomy of schools as two "almost silent" reforms that "deeply transformed the life of schools". 

The Minister of Education João Costa underlined that "public schools have a unique feature: they do not select anyone when entering, they do not exclude, they leave no one out ". And he recalled the many things public schools have to offer, from the National Arts Plan to the National Reading Plan, the 897 living science clubs and the 315 school clusters or programming and robotics clubs, not to mention school sports, with 40 different sports, or the sports centres with new sports, namely adapted sports, and water sports.

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