According to Cciap statistics, before the pandemic, 33% of the students who were in extreme poverty were from indigenous regions.
Panama has been teaching distance classes for nearly two years due to the health and economic crisis generated by the pandemic; However, those children and adolescents who reside in the poorest areas of the country have suffered a greater impact, because they do not have access to the internet, and not with a constant and efficient food space.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama ( Cciap
), statistics indicate that, before the pandemic, 1 in 3 students was in a situation of extreme multidimensional poverty. That 33% is concentrated in places such as indigenous regions.
For the union, studies are the "only real opportunity for social mobility" for the most vulnerable. “Education is a crucial factor for the development of Panama… returning to the classroom is not only important to normalize an extraordinary situation and to give continuity to the teaching-learning process for the psychosocial well-being of the students, but to be able to meet the nutritional needs of those who live in areas characterized by a deficient diet ”, specify the businessmen.
Bearing this in mind, the Cciap
"applauds the decision recently made by the Ministry of Education (Meduca) to return to schools." In addition, it highlights that, according to the data, the conditions are in place so that the return is safe for all parties. "The experience of pilot schools that have carried out tutoring programs and classes on site has shown that, in educational centers, no sources of contagion have been reported," they add.
To date, 90% of teachers and professors are already vaccinated against COVID-19 and ready to return to that human interaction that contributes so much to the educational development of students, such as classes.
"The regent of education has had a year and a half to improve and adapt the structures of schools and colleges nationwide, so that schools have to be in a position to meet the required health standards," added the union.
For the Cciap
, Panama cannot wait any longer for the transformation of its educational system that makes possible the personal and professional fulfillment of current and future generations.
They ask the authorities and teachers to make this possible, following the safe return to classes roadmap that has recommendations from the Permanent Multisectoral Council for the Implementation of the National Commitment to Education (Copeme).