The teacher leader Armando Espinoza of the Association of Authentic Independent Teachers of Panama stated that they do not agree with the return to classes that are currently being analyzed by the health and educational authorities, pointing out that they are not taking into account all the people who make up the educational community that can be infected with COVID-19 in this return.
"They want to send us to the slaughterhouse ... It is that Mrs. Maruja Gorday de Villalobos and Mr. Luis Francisco Sucre
are not talking about animals that they are going to send to schools, we are talking about human beings. They are our children, they are our youth, it is the society that we have to take care of, this is not about whether or not teachers want to go to school," Espinoza said.
The leader pointed out that so far neither the Ministry of Education (Meduca) nor the Ministry of Health (Minsa
) have issued a study or a report on the pilot blended return plan that was developed in areas of the country where infections were scarce to At the end of 2020, however, he questioned that in areas such as Azuero, where the plan was implemented, the cases were enhanced.
Espinoza also pointed out that they and the parents have borne the burden of virtual education, since the Government has not provided access to the Internet and it is precisely the teachers who want to return, but added that they understand that until they are vaccinated To the entire educational community, such as children, teachers, schoolboys drivers, cleaners, parents and civil society, a safe return to classes cannot be expected.
"47 thousand educators from the public sector and around 15 thousand educators will be vaccinated, if I am not mistaken, from the private sector, but what happened to our parents who are also going to attend schools? what happened to the owners of school buses who are going to have to carry those students, what happens to our students; we are going to vaccinate the teachers, yes, applause, but where is the other part of the educational community," added Espinoza.
The teacher blamed both the Minister of Health and the head of Meduca for the infections and reinfections that will occur when they authorize the return to school and added that this return to school is motivated by the economic interests of the businesses that want to sell uniforms, footwear and school supplies, indicating that commercial interest is taking precedence over social interest.
Finally Espinoza explained that currently Meduca has not even been able to ensure the supply of water in schools, necessary for cleaning children and teachers.