Teachers' protests add to growing pressure on Polish gov't

Teachers across Poland are planning protests over a government plan to reorganize the public school system, putting added pressure on a conservative ruling party that faces growing criticism both domestically and internationally.

The Polish Teachers' Union has called on teachers and parents to protest in 17 towns across the country Monday afternoon to show their opposition to a government plan that would eliminate middle schools. Under the plan, children would be kept two years longer in elementary schools before moving on either into high schools or vocational schools.

The union says the plan would introduce chaos into the Polish educational system and cause class sizes to grow larger. Teachers also fear it will lead many of them to lose their jobs, though the Education Ministry says it won't.