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Unkept Government Promises and the Issue of School Fitness

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Education boss rejects unfit schools complaints

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Marcela Paredes de Vásquez
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IT MAY boil down to a question of maths,  or interpretation of “ready” but   Minister of Education, Marcela Paredes de Vásquez, dismissed on  Monday, March 5 complaints of Panama’s Association of Teachers (Asoprof). Over schools not ready to open.

Paredes de Vásquez said that 98% of public schoolchildren in the country will begin their school year without major inconveniences.

However, the Asoprof revealed that some 52 public schools in five regions of the country will have problems to start the school year reports La Prensa.

But those figures do not match those of the minister, who said that there are eight schools which that will have a delayed start, but most of them will start on March 12, ” she said. and added that there are some discomforts in other schools and the situation is being evaluated, as in the downtown area of the city of Colon. She stressed that there are 3,350 educational centers in the country.

Paredes de Vásquez indicated that Asoprof included in its lists educational centers in which large projects are developed, therefore, their students, teachers and administrative staff have been relocated, and those students are initiating classes in alternative locations and are not considered “a no start”.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/education-boss-rejects-unfit-schools-complaints

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Teachers protest unready schools, education budget

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PANAMA schoolteachers and administrators are planning a major demonstration to draw attention o the many schools in the country that have not started classes and others in bad condition.

The  “great march” will start at the Republic of Venezuela School in  Calidonia -chosen because it has perennial problems-.

The teachers’ unions hope to have thousands of educators on the march set for April 27, when they will not teach. They will assemble at 10 a.m.  and at 2 p.m. will demonstrate in the vicinity of the presidential palace.

They emphasize that the current government signed agreements with them but they have not been met

Educators are calling for  the budget  for education,  to  be 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) .

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/teachers-protest-unready-schools-education-budget

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TIMING – First lady lauds education, teachers plan protest

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ON THE WEEKEND that Panama schoolteachers announced a march to the presidential palace to protest unopened classrooms, deteriorating structures and to demand more money spent, on education the country’s First Lady was espousing education as the antidote to child labor.

Lorena Castillo de Varela was urging world leaders, to prioritize the eradication of child labor so that the rights of children, migrant adolescents and workers are guaranteed.

varela-Jordan-300x225.jpgShe made the call while participating in the Summit of Laureates and Leaders for Children 2018 in Jordan, with President Juan Carlos Varela, far from the crises at home sitting in the front row applauding.

The first lady pointed out that education is the antidote to combat child labor and the inequalities of the world while an IMF report fingers Panama for the number of people subsisting on around $300 a month with no money to ensure child education.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure and guarantee the full exercise of the rights of those who represent our present and future,” she said

During her  speech, Castillo de Varela stressed that Panama maintains programs aimed at social protection, where the role of education is key to achieving positive results and  said  that

the country has committed to comply with the established roadmap of becoming a country free of child labor in its worst forms and in its entirety by the year 2020.

She claimed that Panama is one of the countries in Latin America that has reduced the number of girls and boys in labor situations, achieving that between 2008 and 2016, 75% of the population in that condition was withdrawn.

She was accompanied at the Summit t by a bevy of government officials enjoying the hospitality of the Jordanian Government.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/timing-first-lady-lauds-education-teachers-plan-protest

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Teachers defy rain to deliver message

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TORRENTIAL rain on Friday, April 27 failed to dampen the determination of thousands of schoolteachers calling for government promises to be kept.

They gathered at the Republic of Venezuela school in Calidonia, and marched to the presidential palace to let President  Varela know that they are tired of unfulfilled Government and Ministry of Education (Meduca) promises.

They are asking that the promised investment of 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in education be met.

The promise was made along with a strike agreement in 2016.

Diogenes Sanchez, general secretary of the Association of Panama Teachers   (Asoprof), said that despite the inclement weather: “we march decently for decent schools for our students and we are not asking for a salary increase but the promised 6% of the Gross Domestic Product”

Ángel Raúl Miter, general secretary of the Association of Herreran Educators, said that in Herrera there are many deficiencies in education because they did not name preschool teachers in time, many schools have infrastructure deficiencies food for students does not arrive on time.

Mauro Gordón, of Asoprof, said that “education in this country is in chaos, in a coma and if they do not get 6% of GDP it will die. We are on the street defending our students and the people of tomorrow

He added that “there is a lack of will on the part of the current government because they have  not complied with the agreement.”

A Meduca statement said: “The authorities have devoted hours and days to the concerns presented by the teachers’ unions. The problems facing school facilities date back many years and this administration is the one that has paid most attention to the school infrastructure.”

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/teachers-defy-rain-to-deliver-message

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Maybe they can catch the thieves with their hands in the cookie jar. At least that would be a start. And then, hold each province school administrator responsible. The school system here is in sad shape. It's all about politics, money and priorities. The biggest problem with all of Panama is CORRUPTION. At least the prosecutors in Panama City are over loaded with work under this administration "trying" to prosecute and get a handle on corruption.

Edited by Hil
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