The immediate future of education is discussed with intensity in the middle of January. It is logical for this to happen: the pandemic closed almost all schools during 2020 and the new year is fraught with uncertainties and tensions.
The ruling party and the opposition cross accusations. The Nation, certainly, prevented the opening of schools for much of the previous year and privileged virtual classes, which left many kids out. This health decision will have an effect on the educational system (student dropouts and learning defects) and what was done in 2020 cannot be repeated in 2021.
Every statement by the Minister of Education, Nicols Trotta, reflects that it will boost the presence of teachers and students. The official is touring the country in full recess to organize the return to school and collect concerns. And insists that the provinces will have autonomy to decide how to execute the plan to reopen the schools, which seems to be the premise, despite the imminent threat of coronavirus outbreak.
Trotta now avoids fixing the roadmap, which I control during almost all of 2020. And there are many pulls that also have as protagonists the teaching unions, that were quickly put on on guard against educational presence.
From there reasonable fears and demands arise, but also, indefensible sentences, like that of the Ctera secretary who this week assimilated the risks of contagion in the dictation of face-to-face classes with those that generate the famous clandestine parties.
In this rarefied environment, the Mendoza government is trying to define the guidelines for how education will work this year in the province. Due to widespread noise and uncertainty, caution prevails. But in the General Directorate of Schools they point out the next 20 days will be “decisive” at the time of planning.
In the School Government they say that everything remains to be seen and that the goals that will be set will be short-term. In any case, the school year already has a certain starting date in Mendoza: March 1. Although the challenges of presence will start before.
As provided by the DGE, from February 10, there will be an early return of a part of the students to the classrooms. Those summoned will be the boys with “weak educational trajectories”, those who need to re-link with the school.
Its between 18,000 and 19,000 students who, due to various factors, directly lost all connection with the school in 2020. This is the saddest balance that the educational pandemic has left so far.
Progressively until March 1, those who are with a “accompanied promotion”, that is, those who did not manage to prove the necessary learning last year.
Graduality will end at the beginning of March, since the school government intends that all students are in the classroom at the beginning of the school year.
Will they all go back to school together? No. The DGE works in various mixed models, which intersperse face-to-face and virtual classes. And they clarify that it will not be the same system that will be applied in a central institution as the one that is defined for a high mountain college or a hostel school.
This week, Trotta’s preparatory tour of the interior of the country will land in Mendoza. And since the Nation has opened the game to the governors, the provincial government will propose what it needs to start.
Because the teaching of classes will be mixed, the DGE request an improvement in connectivity to facilitate the virtual part. “Mendoza is one of the provinces with the worst connectivity in Argentina and you have a complex financial situation. We are going to ask for a hand with devices and ways to connect kids, because in the short term this is difficult to solve “, advanced from the Executive.
They say in the Government that the partial start of February 10 will not generate problems regarding the infrastructure of the schools, because few children will return. The arrangements began at the end of the year and there are still schools in bad shape, but the official promise is to fix what is missing during the next month. They affirm that they will detect the shortcomings when the schools are already open and that they will attend to them at the moment.
He salary conflict with the teaching union (SUTE) adds an extra problem, for nothing minor. But for something, the Government still does not give, with a decree, the final slam of the negotiation, which you failed in December.
How to solve Rodolfo Suarez this dispute is one of the key and burning points for the start in Mendoza of the 2021 classes, the most important in recent times.