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Revisiting the Role School-Regents Played in the Educational Policy of Estado Novo

Author(s): Paulo Guinote

Journal: Sísifo : Educational Sciences Journal
ISSN 1646-6500

Issue: 01;
Start page: 110;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Education during the Estado Novo | History of the Teaching Profession | Primary Education | School-regent

Though approached in several texts about the organization of teaching activity during Estado Novo, the figure of the school-regent has barely deserved specific treatment. It was not until recently that the first systematisation of quantitative data concerning their presence in the education system emerged, along with an attempt of analysis about the characteristics of this professional group, reaching far beyond mere enunciation of what legislation states about their role. In the rare specific approaches to school-regents, their creation usually comes embedded in the context of Estado Novo’s effort to ensure the extension of teaching-posts’ network at minimum costs, while underlining the fact that such creation represents one of the measures symbolizing the academic and professional de-qualification of the teaching staff.However, that’s a partial view of the matter, since describing school-regents either as mere occasional and instrumental tools of Estado Novo’s minimalist educational policy or as docile vehicles to a process of social reproduction means drastically reducing the relevance of thousands of professionals, mostly women, who taught the first letters in regions where it would have been impossible otherwise. Without them progress towards alphabetisation in Portugal, always too slow, would have been even more precarious.
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