While the Buenosairean authorities advance with the “planning and organization” of the return of the face-to-face classes when sanitary conditions allow, the union leader closest to the government, Roberto Baradel, put a high stick to that claim: “Until a coronavirus vaccine is found, it will be difficult” to return to the classroom. The secretary general of Suteba (one of the most important state teachers’ unions in the province) assured: “The conditions are not given for the return to classes in Buenos Aires.”
The forcefulness of the statement surprised those responsible for the educational area and also it struck near Axel Kicillof’s offices. Baradel made statements on El Destape Radio early Tuesday. A few hours earlier, the Director General of Schools, Agustina Vila, had met –by zoom- with the representatives of the Front of Union Unity (FUDB) to move forward on various issues on the agenda: the performance of non-face-to-face public events for the appointment of teachers, the integration of district educational management units and the horizon of the system once the crisis due to the pandemic is overcome.
“The planning and organization tasks were reviewed so that, when the health situation permits, we are in a position to transit back to the classroom classes. The final revision of the documents and protocols that started the regional and district work was agreed, “reported from the ministry.
That was the only official response to Baradel’s outline of the education situation in the Province. “We have an institutional channel to discuss these issues with the unions. We will not argue through the media”, They explained in the Palace on 13th Street, where Education works. However, they consider that the conditioning of the secretary of Suteba seems excessive. “Make the appearance of a vaccine a requirement for face-to-face activities takes the reopening of schools too far“the officials argued.
The Province has three scenarios well differentiated by the advance of the pandemic. The AMBA (what includes 38 municipalities, in addition to the Federal Capital) in a strict quarantine phase, with restrictions on public transport and preventive social isolation. 46 other districts in Phase 4, with greater permits for commercial and industrial activities and 52 jurisdictions in “social distancing”. In other words, with a “new normal” that has limited some public sector offices (not all) and schools and universities are closed.
On that universe of cities and towns of the interior – that represents less than 25% of the total population– Health and Education experts are working to find alternatives that allow students to return to classrooms with strict sanitary hygiene protocols.
They are the directives given by the national Ministry of Education, which will allow San Juan, Catamarca and Santiago del Estero, the resumption of face-to-face classes in the coming weeks.
That is far in the Buenos Aires territory, according to the criteria of Baradel who does not foresee the reunion of teachers and students in the same space at least this year. “The presence involves a very large mobilization of children and adults. It would be inconsistent with the measures being taken and that they aim to lower the contagion curve, “said the unionist who defines himself as a Kirchner.
The other union with representation among public educators, the FEB, also has a similar position. “Back to school should be with guaranteed infrastructure conditions“The entity’s president, Mirta Petrocini, said yesterday. 15 days ago, the government had proposed that it should provide” cleaning and sanitation elements to avoid contagion risks. ”
In the Autonomous City they are also thinking about how the return will be, although the Buenos Aires guilds have not yet ruled on it. “Without rushing a decision, it is important prepare the system for a possible gradual return to face-to-face”, They said in the Ministry of Education of the City.
The authorities initiated contacts with specialists, organizations such as Unicef, INECO, IDB, parents, teachers, unions and students. They evaluate giving priority to the last years of each level (7th grade in primary and 5th and 6th year of secondary). “We analyze entry, exit and staggered recess protocols, distancing in classrooms and common spaces, not using the dining room. It will be in stages, little by little. Face-to-face with virtual education will be articulated ”, they anticipated in the City government.
La Plata (Correspondent)