Europe

Teachers across Poland strike to protest education overhaul

  • Joanna Kowalska, an English teacher,  who takes part in a  teachers' strike, sits in a classroom in  a school Warsaw , Poland, Friday, March 31, 2017.  Teachers across Poland staged a one-day strike on Friday to protest a sweeping overhaul of the education system by the populist government that will see middle schools eliminated this coming fall.  (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    Joanna Kowalska, an English teacher, who takes part in a teachers' strike, sits in a classroom in a school Warsaw , Poland, Friday, March 31, 2017. Teachers across Poland staged a one-day strike on Friday to protest a sweeping overhaul of the education system by the populist government that will see middle schools eliminated this coming fall. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • A poster at  the door in a school  reeads:   "School Strike March 31" in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday March 31, 2017. Teachers across Poland staged a strike Friday to protest a sweeping overhaul of the education system by the populist government that will see middle schools eliminated this coming fall.  (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    A poster at the door in a school reeads: "School Strike March 31" in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday March 31, 2017. Teachers across Poland staged a strike Friday to protest a sweeping overhaul of the education system by the populist government that will see middle schools eliminated this coming fall. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Joanna Kowalska, an English teacher, taking part in a teachers' strike sits in a classroom of a school in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, March 31, 2017. Teachers across Poland staged a one-day strike on Friday to protest a sweeping overhaul of the education system by the populist government that will see middle schools eliminated this coming fall. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    Joanna Kowalska, an English teacher, taking part in a teachers' strike sits in a classroom of a school in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, March 31, 2017. Teachers across Poland staged a one-day strike on Friday to protest a sweeping overhaul of the education system by the populist government that will see middle schools eliminated this coming fall. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

Teachers across Poland are staging a one-day strike to protest a sweeping overhaul of the education system that will see middle schools eliminated this fall.

Many teachers fear they will lose their jobs and are refusing to teach their lessons Friday in protest. Some parents are keeping their children home from school.

The populist government says it is reforming a school system that doesn't work well — even though Polish students do well in international rankings. Critics believe the government is using the change as a pretext for introducing a more nationalistic curriculum and for putting more of its supporters in top jobs.

The Union of Polish Teachers, which organized the strike, estimated that some 40 to 45 percent of schools nationwide are participating.

Some teachers support the government plan.