Europe

Poland's teachers protest education reform, feared jobs loss

  • Thousands of teachers and parents are walking  in downtown iWarsaw, Poland, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, to protest plans by the conservative government to phase out middle schools, that serve children between the ages of 12 and 16, in a reversal of a 1999 reform. The noisy march was another show of public discontent with the policies of the conservative Law and Justice government. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    Thousands of teachers and parents are walking in downtown iWarsaw, Poland, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, to protest plans by the conservative government to phase out middle schools, that serve children between the ages of 12 and 16, in a reversal of a 1999 reform. The noisy march was another show of public discontent with the policies of the conservative Law and Justice government. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Thousands of teachers and parents are walking in rain in downtown  Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, to protest plans by the conservative government to phase out middle schools, that serve children between the ages of 12 and 16, in a reversal of a 1999 reform. The noisy march was another show of public discontent with the policies of the conservative Law and Justice government.  (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    Thousands of teachers and parents are walking in rain in downtown Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, to protest plans by the conservative government to phase out middle schools, that serve children between the ages of 12 and 16, in a reversal of a 1999 reform. The noisy march was another show of public discontent with the policies of the conservative Law and Justice government. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Teachers taking part in a protest march downtown Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, against plans by the conservative government to phase out middle schools, that serve children between the ages of 12 and 16, in a reversal of a 1999 reform. The noisy march was another show of public discontent with the policies of the conservative Law and Justice government.  (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    Teachers taking part in a protest march downtown Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, against plans by the conservative government to phase out middle schools, that serve children between the ages of 12 and 16, in a reversal of a 1999 reform. The noisy march was another show of public discontent with the policies of the conservative Law and Justice government. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of Poland's teachers and parents are protesting the conservative government's plan to phase out middle schools that serve children between the ages of 12 and 16.

Organized by the teachers' union, the noisy protest in downtown Warsaw on Saturday was another public show of discontent with the policies of Poland's year-old Law and Justice government.

The Education Ministry has proposed doing away with the country's three-year middle schools, or gimnazjum, starting next year. The ministry says the schools are unsafe and do a poor job educating students.

It wants to go back to the system of eight-year primary schools and four-year high schools Poland had until 1999.

The protesters say they fear the loss of jobs and argue that a new curriculum would have to be written in haste.