– Are you feeling good?!
During the Thursday afternoon, the classic concert question echoed over Gustaf Adolfs torg. But on this day, the answer was a resounding no.
At the microphone was chief protection officer Terje Adkins, one of the organizers behind Sweden’s teachers’ demonstration, and in the audience there were mostly teachers.
The origin is the cuts that await the school both locally and nationally. In connection with the demonstration, signatures were also collected, which were then submitted to the municipal council.
An estimated thousand people attended the demonstration. Elisabeth Näsström stood next to a banner calling on those in power to stop cuts at Bärbyskolan.
– As a teacher, I think it is important to be here, we need more resources in the school.
Downsizing at her workplace would, as at many others, primarily affect student assistants.
– They are there for a reason, there are children who need them for their everyday life at school to function, says Elisabeth Näsström.
A great fatigue
The first of many resounding applauses during the demonstration was received by Åsa Fahlén, union president of the Swedish Teachers’ Union, when she pointed out that their profession deals with teaching and not storage.
After her, HP Tran, teacher at Tångenskolan and famous school debater, spoke. He began by telling about colleagues who had wanted to come along to the demonstration, but couldn’t. A murmur of recognition went through the audience.
– Well, that’s right, a man whispered to his company.
– And we are tired of being tired, HP Tran said from above the plinth of the Gustaf II Adolf statue and drew another round of applause.
“If there are no misses, how are we going to get new synapses?” That was the question Alexandra Ågren von Schwerin’s pre-school class students asked when she told them about the cuts. That was also the message on her banner.
– We have to get better at saying no. Because that’s really what this is about; our corps is so fantastically good at conjuring with their knees, but it will be at the expense of the students, she says and continues:
– It will also be at my expense, both private life and professional life. And my great fear is losing the joy of the profession. Unfortunately, I’ve already been in the wall once and I don’t want to end up there again. Because I don’t have a plan B.
Worse in Gothenburg
The politicians who made decisions about the cuts refer, among other things, to the general economic crisis.
– We are in an extremely difficult situation financially and we are not alone in that, but it is the same for all municipalities and regions in the country, the chairman of the municipal board Jonas Attenius (S) has previously told GP.
But union president Åsa Fahlén believes that the political support for the school looks better in other parts of the country.
– I am not satisfied with what I hear here from Gothenburg. I myself have worked as a teacher here for many years and can easily imagine what these cuts would have meant to me if I had continued working. It is very counterproductive.
Perhaps the loudest cheer of the demonstration was elicited by the evening’s third speaker, Åsa Plesner from the think tank Balans. She has previously worked at the school but was forced to quit due to burnout.
During her speech, she shared, with some sarcasm, a lesson learned from her new job.
– Budgets are not written in stone, they are written in Excel and you can change the numbers in them.
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