We’re excited to announce that Teach For Poland has joined the Teach For All global network as our 61st partner! Teach For Poland is working towards equal opportunities in access to high-quality education for all students, so that they learn in a modern educational system, develop 21st-century skills, discover and use their unique abilities, and have a positive impact on their local community, their country, and the world.
There is currently an enormous appetite in Poland for leadership and systemic change in the education sector. Recent reforms have resulted in an unprecedented education crisis, particularly around the availability of qualified and dedicated teachers. Teaching has become an ageing profession – only 8% of Polish teachers are under 30 years old, well below the EU average of 11.9%, and the low salary of Polish teachers (22nd of the 32 OECD countries) makes it difficult to incentivize young people to join the education sector. Consequently, there is an enormous shortage of teachers across the country. The number of teachers who left the profession tripled in 2020, and the capital city of Warsaw alone is struggling to fill more than 2,000 teaching vacancies, according to recent reports.
Additionally, discrimination and inequity have a severe impact on student wellbeing and societal cohesion. Over 18% of Polish children experience a level of poverty that makes it difficult to meet their basic needs. And in recent polls, around 60% of school-aged children noted that they had been exposed to hate speech. The impacts of these dynamics are sobering – Poland has the second highest adolescent suicide rate in Europe, and PISA outcomes show that Poland generally scored below average on indicators related to students’ sense of well-being and belonging.
Led by Co-founder and CEO Katarzyna Nabrdalik, Teach For Poland is committed to encouraging more young people to choose a career in education, raising the prestige of the profession, and training and supporting its fellows to work with parents and local communities to support their students. Teach For Poland also has a deep commitment to student well-being and has invested in co-creating a student vision with its stakeholders, including students themselves, developing a Leadership Development Model that will advance this student vision, and aligning its key recruitment, selection, training and support processes to this model.
Teach For All is thrilled to welcome Teach For Poland to our global network and we look forward to learning from and with its staff, teachers, students, and future alumni, as well as the communities in which they work.