Education in Portugal

Portugal – education

The Portuguese school system is free and compulsory for 6-14 year olds. The goals of education policy are increased decentralization and a revision of the content of youth education. In the early 1990’s, approximately half of the working population still has a maximum of five years of schooling behind them, and approximately 13% were illiterate, but the situation has greatly improved through the creation of adult education and an open university.

The preschool for 3-5-year-olds is followed by approximately half of all children (1994). The primary school is divided into three levels of resp. four, two and three years duration. The subsequent three-year youth educations aim either at further higher education or at the business world. Higher education takes place at the country’s 17 universities, of which the two oldest were established in Lisbon and Coimbra in respectively. 1288 and 1290. In addition, there are more than 20 other higher education institutions (1998).

OFFICIAL NAME: Portuguese Republic


POPULATION: 10,265,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)

AREA: 91,921 km²


RELIGION: Catholics 92%, Protestants 2%, Muslims 1%, others 5%

COIN: Euro



POPULATION COMPOSITION: Portuguese nationals 98%, others (especially Africans, Brazilians, Britons and Spaniards) 2%

GDP PER residents: $ 22,122 (2014)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 77 years, women 84 years (2012)




Portugal is a Republic of the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Furthermore, the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are included in the republic as autonomous regions.

  • Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as PT which stands for Portugal.

Portugal has a long tradition as a strong maritime nation and expanded in the 1400-1500-t. the nation’s spheres of interest to Africa, Asia and South America with the establishment of colonies and a world trade with Lisbon at the center.

During the later decolonization and industrialization, Portugal came as a distinctly agricultural country and with dictatorial rule to stand weak in Europe, but achieved with the introduction of democracy in 1974 political stability and with the accession to the EC (EU) in 1986 an economic boost.

Portugal – Constitution

Constitution of the Portuguese Republic is from 1976 with several revisions since then; in 1997, for example, the possibility of a referendum was introduced. Legislative power lies with a unicameral parliament, the National Assembly, with 230 members (max. 235), elected by proportional representation for four years. The executive has the president, who is elected by direct election for five years and can only be re-elected once. He shall appoint the Prime Minister, taking into account the parliamentary situation, and he shall appoint and remove the other Ministers in consultation with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is accountable to the President for the functioning of government institutions and to Parliament for the content of the policies pursued. The President convenes and dissolves Parliament as he deems necessary. A consultative minister has the president as chairman and consists of by the President of Parliament, the Prime Minister and the President of the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court with 13 judges is appointed by Parliament.

The Madeira and Azores archipelagos have autonomous regions, each with its own government and parliament. The central government is represented by a minister who appoints the chairman of the government and in consultation with the other ministers.

Portugal – political parties

Since the consolidation of the democratic government after the revolution in 1974, Portugal’s political life has been characterized by a stable constellation of 4-5 parties. The oldest is the Partido Comunista Português, founded in 1921; it represents an old communist line, has stood strong especially in the province of Alentejo, but is towards the end of the 1990’s in slow but noticeable decline. Partido Socialista, the Social Democratic Party, was founded in 1973 in exile with Mário Soares as chairman and is a member of the Socialist International. It has dominated Portugal’s political scene in competition with the center-right Party Partido Social Democrata (founded Partido Popular Democrático) with Francisco de Sá Carneiro (1934-80) and Aníbal Cavaco Silva (b. 1939) as prominent leaders. It is like the Partido Popular (orig. Partido do Centro Democrático Social), which is clearly on the right, grdl. in 1974 by forces from the part of the opposition that was tolerated during the previous dictatorship.

Portugal – economy

Under António de Oliveira Salazar’s rule 1932-68, Portugal pursued an economic policy based on a high degree of self-sufficiency and the maintenance of existing social structures. This led to a weak economic development, which resulted in a significant emigration from the country through the 1960’s. After the revolution of 1974, large parts of the economy were nationalized by the strongly left-wing government. After the 1976 election, a more moderate socialist government came to power under the leadership of Mário Soares. The economy was gradually structured to operate on market economy terms, and Portugal began increasing integration into Western European cooperation organizations. After a number of turbulent years in the early 1980’s with major economic problems, where Portugal had to ask the International Monetary Fund, IMF, for financial support, the country was admitted in 1986 as a member of the EC (EU). It was the beginning of a significant economic recovery with high growth rates, but also high inflation and constant current account deficits. The recovery lasted until the early 1990’s, after which a period of weaker growth set in, not least due to the tightening of economic policies to enable Portugal to meet the requirements for participation in Economic and Monetary Union, EMU, within the EU. Fiscal policy was to ensure that public finance requirements were met, while monetary policy was subject to the objective of keeping the currency, the escudos, pegged to the ECU, after Portugal joined the EU countries’ monetary cooperation, the EMS, in 1992.

Since the mid-1990’s, economic policy has increasingly been coordinated in line with the EU countries’ overarching objective of economic stability. In 1999, Portugal joined EMU, and in 2002, escudos were replaced by euros. The country has for a period benefited from grants from EU funds and has also received foreign investment due to the low wage level; During its period of EU membership, Portugal has increased its production per capita. per capita from half to three quarters of the EU average. Even in the late 1990’s, economic growth was somewhat higher than the average for the euro area, and unemployment had fallen to 4% in 2000, but from 2001 the pace fell sharply and in 2003 was even negative, which in combination with large public spending and a significant tax evasion led to Portugal exceeded its target for the general government deficit in its long-term stability program, just as public debt in 2005 exceeded the EU’s limit of 60%. Unemployment also rose, reaching 7.6% in 2005. Portugal’s difficulties in modernizing the low-wage economy can be attributed to the low level of education; the country also has the most unequal income distribution in Western Europe.

Portugal trades predominantly with EU countries, especially Spain, Germany and France. There are large deficits on the external balances. Denmark’s exports to Portugal were DKK 6,620 million. in 2005; imports from there were 2106 million. kr.

Portugal – social conditions

The development of a social consciousness similar to that which underlies the welfare patterns of the northern European countries has taken place more rapidly in Portugal than in other southern European countries. While, for example, the Franco regime in Spain introduced reforms, Portugal lived until the revolution of 1974 under the ideological motto of the Salazar regime of “the blessing of being poor”. According to international social indicators, Portugal, together with Albania, was until then Europe’s last developing country.

Compared to other EU and OECD countries, Portugal has low wages, approximately 1/3 of the EU average, which attracts foreign investment and intermediary export industry. There is still a lot of child labor; in the late 1990’s, the industrial workforce comprised approximately 45,000 children. The technical educations are deficient, but the general education system has been greatly improved; however, teachers are underpaid. The health service is criticized by the OECD as outdated.

There are major differences between the rapidly growing middle-class way of life in coastal cities and the still backward conditions in agriculture. Many villages in the interior of the country are abandoned by the young. The trade union movement has been democratized, but only 39% of employees are organized (1999).

The legislation has involved all aspects of the social assistance systems known in the EU. Unemployment benefits make up 65% of the average wage of the labor force and are paid for a maximum of 30 months. Old-age pension is granted to everyone over the age of 65 who has paid contributions to the state’s social security schemes, which in 1995 was 80% of those over the age of 65. Check youremailverifier for Portugal social condition facts.

Portugal – health conditions

Measured by life expectancy, the country has undergone a positive development, increasing for women from 70.3 years in 1971 to 78.6 in 1996. The corresponding figures for men are 64.8 and 71.2. However, men’s life expectancy is the lowest in the EU. During the same period, infant mortality has been reduced from 49.8 to 6.9 per 1000 live births. For boys and younger men, violent death is the leading cause of death, and Portugal has the highest mortality rate in the EU, with traffic accidents as the cause. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death; cardiac mortality is low and declining, while mortality due to stroke is more than twice as high as the EU average. The most common cause of death before age 65 is cancer, but cancer mortality is declining slightly; as one of the few countries in the EU, however, Portugal has an increasing incidence of lung cancer in men.

Since 1993, Portugal has moved from a predominantly state healthcare system towards a system based on partly private insurance. In 1996, the country spent 8.2% of GDP on health care; of which 60% came from the public sector. In 1995, there were per. 1000 residents 4.1 hospital beds, of which approximately 80% were in state hospitals. The major part of the primary care medical service is run through state health centers. In 1995, there were 3.0 doctors and 3.4 nurses per 1000 residents

Portugal – legal system

I 1800-t. established a Civil Code, Civil Code, and Commercial. In 1966, a new Código civil was introduced, which, like the German BGB, is divided into five books, where the first book, the ordinary part, contains a very far-reaching protection of citizens. Until recently, the law was quite conservative, as both family and inheritance law are marked by the traditional attitude of some southern European countries to male and female roles.

Major changes have taken place here. Portuguese divorce law today is modern and more liberal than Spanish. Divorce may be filed by a court at the request of one spouse, both where the other spouse has committed a serious breach of his or her marital duties and where the marriage, due to a spouse’s mental condition, termination of cohabitation or serious and permanent dispute considered damaged. Divorce must also, according to statutory decrees from 1995 and 2001, be granted by the Directorate of Civil Registry (Conservatória do registro civil) if the parties agree to file for divorce. It is required here that the spouses also agree on maintenance for the spouse who so desires, on custody of minor children and on the dwelling. The agreement on custody is submitted to the Advocate General, who can propose changes for the sake of the children. If the parents comply with his proposal, the divorce will be granted, otherwise the case will be referred to the courts for decision. Where spouses are granted divorce in this way, which in 2000 accounted for 71% of all divorces, they do not have to state the reasons why they want a divorce.

By decree-law of 1985, rules similar to the rules of the German PGI on ordinary business relations were introduced, according to which it is possible to have unfair terms violated in standard contracts.

Portugal (Military)

The armed forces are (2006) 44,900, of which 9,100 are conscripts with four months of training. Conscription is being phased out. The army is at 26,700, the navy at 10,950 and the air force at 7250. The reserve is at 210,900, of which almost all to the army. The Armed Forces has older and somewhat newer, Western-fabricated equipment. The army (Exército Português) is relatively lightly equipped and includes an armored, an airborne, a light infantry brigade and two special forces units. The fleet (Marinha Portuguesa) comprises six larger and 29 smaller surface combat vessels, two submarines, a landing craft, five Westland Super Lynx and a small infantry in 2000. The Air Force (ForçaAérea Portuguesa) has 50 fighter jets. The Security Forces (Guarda Nacional Republicana) total 47,700.

Portugal was one of the founding members of NATO in 1949. In December 1961, India attacked the Portuguese enclaves of Goa, Daman and Diu on the west coast of India, and the Portuguese defenders were overrun. Portugal’s armed forces became involved in the Guerra do Ultramar (the Overseas Wars) in 1961-74 in connection with the Portuguese colonies in Africa’s wars of independence. The military grew tired of fighting useless colonial wars and overthrew the government during the Carnation Revolution so that Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique became independent.

Portugal – libraries and archives

Portugal’s most important research libraries are the modern Biblioteca Nacional in Lisbon, the University Library in Coimbra, which has a magnificent Baroque architecture, and the City Library in Porto. Since 1986, public libraries have sought to develop according to an overall plan.

Portugal’s National Archive, Torre do Tombo (Archive Tower), which contains original documents from the 12th century, is today installed in completely modern buildings right next to the University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Humanities. The richest archive hereafter belongs to the University of Coimbra.

Portugal – mass media

Portugal is one of the countries in Europe with the fewest newspaper readers. The most important of the country’s 15 dailies (2005) is Correio da Manhã (grdl. 1979) with a circulation of approximately 12,000, Jornal de Notícias (grdl. 1888) with a circulation of approximately 100,000 and Público (grdl. 1990) with a circulation of approximately 50,000. There is a lush weekly press with the weekly newspapers Expresso and O Independente as well as the news magazine Visão as the most influential. Sports newspapers are also popular; three different ones are published daily. None of the leading dailies have official political affiliation. The news agency LUSA was founded in 1987. Large media companies dominate the market. After the revolution of 1974, a number of private radio stations were merged with the state radio company to Radiodifusão Portuguesa (RDP), which until 1989 had a monopoly; in total there are approximately 300 local and regional radio stations. Television is the most important source of information for the majority of the population. The state-owned Radiotelevisão Portuguesa (RTP) was founded in 1957 and has two channels; in addition, there are two private ones, SIC (grdl. 1992) and TVI (grdl. 1993). TVI mainly broadcasts entertainment programs and is the largest channel in terms of viewership.

Portugal – architecture

Portugal is rich in high quality architecture. Along with the liberation from the Moors, a Romanesque building style emerged in the 12th century. Both military installations and sacred architecture are preserved in northern and central Portugal, including the cathedrals of Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon.

The Cistercian Church in Alcobaça (grdl. 1153) marks the transition to Gothic, while the fully developed Gothic is seen in the church and monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória in Batalha (begun in 1388), where the sense of proportions, mass and space are united with a joy of lush ornamentation..

The same qualities are also found in the first completely independent artistic period, the Manueline (after King Manuel the Great), from the 1490’s to approximately 1540. The Manueline style is composed, combining late Gothic features with a new, more lifelike ornamentation with inspiration from a maritime world in the form of ropes, sea flora and fauna. In addition, the manual construction has a simple, sculptural character and also paves the way for a new preoccupation with the relationship between building and landscape, eg the Hieronymitter Monastery in Belém (1501-72).

Italian Renaissance has been the inspiration for the church of Santa Maria de Conceição in Tomar (1500-t.); a Mannerist masterpiece is Johan III’s monastery farm by D. de Torralva (approximately 1500-approx. 1566), also in Tomar.

Monumental classical form characterizes the Counter-Reformation sacred building, eg Saõ Vicente de Fora (started 1590) in Lisbon by F. Terzi (approximately 1520-97). Widespread use of azulejos (blue tiles) in the room decoration and on exterior walls is here, as in later periods, a crucial part of the architectural distinctiveness. The main work of the High Baroque is J. Antunes’ (1645-1712) unfinished, Roman-inspired church of Santa Engrácia (begun 1682) in Lisbon.

The 18th century was a heyday in Portuguese architecture. Central European, Italian and French architects, JF Ludovice (1670-1752) and L. Vanvitelli, built for the court in an international, classically measured style, eg Mosteiro de Mafra (1730), while the Italian N. Nasoni (1691-1773) and local architects in and around Porto and Braga created an experimental rococo, eg Igreja dos Clérigos (started 1732) in Porto. Architecture and landscape are an effective synthesis in high-altitude pilgrimage churches, such as Bom Jesús do Monte (1784-1811) in Braga.

After the Lisbon earthquake (1755), part of the city was rebuilt according to a manageable, rational city plan. The main work of historicism is the Palácio da Pena (1850) in Sintra, built in a theatrical neo-Gothic and neomanuelin style.

Eiffeldesigned the bridge Ponte Dona Maria Pia (1877) in Porto, a highly expressive engineering work. Newer architects include the classical modernists C. Branco (1897-1970) with Cinema Eden (1931) in Lisbon and A. Siza Vieira (b. 1933) with the bank Banco Borges & Irmão (1986) in Vila do Conde. A prominent postmodernistis T. Taveira (b. 1938).

Portugal – literature

The oldest artistically designed texts date back to the early 1200’s. It is a troubadour song in the common Galician-Portuguese language. Around 2000 shows of approximately 200 troubadours are preserved in three songbooks (cancioneiros), which also contain an Arte de Trovar (The Art of Making Verses) about the different song genres.

While the troubadour in the love ballads (cantigas de amor), following the Provencal model, declares his love unattainable, in the local tradition ” girlfriend songs ” (cantigas de amigo) he lends a voice to a young girl’s longing for her boyfriend who is gone.

This longing (saudade) is expressed in dialogue with a confidential and in an elegant minimalist structure, dominated by parallelism and alternating repetitions. The jokes and slander songs typically originate from a certain situation and can rarely offer the girlfriend’s fascinating freshness for posterity. Several troubadours are known by name, such as the Galicians Joam Airas and Martin Codax and King Dinis of Portugal (1279-1325), and for a single (Codax) there are written down notes.

From approximately 1400 the prose appears with greater weight, cultivated by eg Duarte, who was king 1433-38, whose Leal Conselheiro (The Loyal Counselor) contains moral and psychological reflections. In the writing of history, Fernão Lopes emerges. The late medieval redondilha lyric (five- and seven-syllable verses), which in themes and motifs reveal influences from the Italian Renaissance, is represented in the large collection Cancioneiro Geral (The General Book of Poems, 1516). approximately 300 Portuguese and Spanish poets, and here begins a time of literary bilingualism.

Portugal – theater

The playwright Gil Vicente is considered the founder of the theater in Portugal, whose first play was performed in 1502. However, it is likely that there was a medieval theater activity on which Vicente built. He created a dramatic tradition rather than an actual theater. Vicente’s model seems to have stayed alive for a long time in competition with Spanish and especially Italian troops. In the 1700’s. António José da Silva’s (1705-39) puppet theater was a temporary renewal, but it was not until 1836, during the Romantic period, that a real national stage was created on Almeida Garrett’s initiative. After the dictatorship of 1926-74, both the established and the alternative theater have experienced a noticeable flourishing, which is also visible in a growth in the number of theaters.

Portugal – dance

Portugal’s dance traditions and accompanying music are richly varied and reflect the country’s complex history with influences from Europe, Africa and Brazil. In the northeastern part of the country, cane dances, dança dos paulitos, are part of both religious and secular festivals, and in addition couple dancing; the dances are traditionally accompanied by bagpipes or one-handed flute and drum.

In the central part of the country, solo dances, performed by men, and couple dances such as fandango in 6/8 time for guitar and accordion accompaniment have been the most common. In the northwestern part of Portugal, the couple dance viruses in 6/8 time are still popular. Since the 1990’s, dance traditions have most often been kept alive by organized folklore groups.

Portugal – music

Under Arab rule (approximately 700-1100), as in Spain, the Mozarabic liturgy developed, which later gave way to the Roman. The Provencal troubadours got Portuguese imitators, Martin Codax (1200-t.), Of whom seven love songs from approximately 1270. The Renaissance vocal polyphony is represented by composers such as Duarte Lobo (approximately 1565-1643), Manuel Cardoso (1566-1650) and King Johan IV (1604-56). Organ music was created by, among others, Padre Manuel Rodrigues Coelho (approximately 1555- approximately 1635).

Church tonality and fugue technique dominated until the early 1700’s, when the influence of Italian music, including opera, led to a change of style. The court ballet-like zarzuelawas replaced by a rich opera production, whose greatest talent was Marcos Portugal (1762-1830). The Italian Domenico Scarlatti worked 1720-29 at the court of Lisbon (and then in Madrid); his sonatas for harpsichord were imitated by José de Seixas (1709-42), “the Portuguese Scarlatti”. Portuguese national romanticism is represented by José Vianna da Motta (1868-1948) and Rui Coelho (1892-1986). Impressionism is heard in Luís de Freitas Branco (1890-1955), Cláudio Carneyro (1895-1963) and Frederico de Freitas (1902-1980). Representatives of Darmstadt-inspired modernism include Filipe Pires (b. 1934), Álvaro León Cassuto (b. 1938) and Jorge Peixinho (b. 1940). The youngest generation includes João Pedro Oliveira (b. 1959), António Pinho Vargas (b. 1951) and Alexandre Delgado (b. 1965).

The Lisbon Philharmonic Orchestra and Conservatory of Music were founded in 1822 and 1835, respectively.

Portugal – Music (Folk Music)

Old musical traditions have remained alive in the countryside. The traditional ballad song (romanceiro) is one of the oldest and most important genres. Remarkable is also the women’s polyphonic song. The most important traditional instruments are guitar, bagpipe, one-handed flute, transverse flute, concertina, drum and div. percussion; in ensembles one can also take violin, clarinet and accordion. At religious festivals, local wind chapels play in the late 1900’s. an important role. Portugal has around 200 (1999) so-called folklore groups scattered throughout the country, and folk music has influenced the popular music of cities, including the new socially critical song.

Portugal – film

The Portuguese film production, which began in 1896, includes approximately five films annually. The quantitatively much larger Brazilian film is a serious competitor in the domestic market due to the language coincidence. Previously, the repertoire was dominated by comedies and amusements, but in the 1960’s, inspiration from the modernist new waves broke through. However, film production suffered from harsh government censorship until 1976, when democracy was introduced. A state film support scheme was introduced in 1974 at the same time as the establishment of the Portuguese Film Institute. Manoel de Oliveira (b. 1908) is Portugal’s best known director. He was originally an actor and later became a writer of plays and screenplays as well as a film director of children’s, documentary and feature films. Oliveira’s visually rich films, such as the Christ film O Acto da primavera(1963, The Spring Play) and the Claudel film adaptation O Sapato de cetim (1985, The Silk Shoe), often derive their stylistic expression from the conventions of the theater world.

Portugal – wine

The wine industry in Portugal has undergone a major modernization since 1986. Among the innovations are fermentation tanks made of stainless steel and small, new oak barrels, and the anonymous blended wines have become rarer. The country’s wine law has been brought into line with EU standards, and 55 wine regions have been demarcated, 19 of which have the status of Denominação de Origem Controlada, which corresponds to the French AOC.

One of the most important regions is Vinho Verde, which produces fresh and lightly sparkling wines; the very dry red wines are drunk only locally, while the often slightly sweet white wines are also exported. The best non-sparkling white wines are made from the fine grape alvarinho. French grapes are used only to a modest extent, and in northern Portugal the good red wines are made from old local grapes, especially the noble touriga nacional and tinta roriz (known in Spain as tempranillo).

In the Douro valley, in addition to port wines, good, solid red wines are made, several of which are bottled just like in the southern Dão. Bairrada south of Porto is known for full-bodied and spicy red wines on the grape baga as well as sparkling wine according to the champagne method, vinho espumante, and south of Lisbon are the districts of Setúbal and Palmela, where the muscat grape is made from one of the finest sweet wines in the world, Moscatel de Setúbal.

Most of the country’s 190,000 wine growers are affiliated with one of the many cooperatives, which since Salazar have played an important social and economic role and account for 43% of the country’s wine production.

Portugal has a vineyard area of ​​380,000 ha and has an annual harvest of 9 million. hl (1998) the fifth largest wine country in the EU. Before Denmark’s accession to the EC in 1973, more than 50% of Danes’ wine consumption was covered by wine from Portugal, whereas in 1998 it was only approximately 5%.

Portugal Education