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(NA / Government of San Juan)
New attacks on those of us who defend education are taking place. A debate that Argentina resolved with Law 1420 in the nineteenth century flourished again but in the worst and most basic way: we are not debating how to improve the fundamental pillar of society’s development, but questions as elementary as whether the kids can return or not to the classrooms.
The scenario is very clear: we have on one side an officialism and its union arm against the existence of an educational plan in a country that was opened in more than 90% of the items and on the other, a responsible opposition with governance and the future that considers education as the basis of progress.
Different studies cross time of schooling with employability. Broadly speaking, they tell us that the more months in schools receiving education, the better jobs students access. In this sense, it is worth asking: how much damage was done to Argentine children and adolescents by taking away a whole year of school, affecting their rights and conditioning their future?
In a total of days missed from school in the world, 86% were lost in developing countries, while in developed countries only 16 percent. Doesn’t this explain in concrete and symbolic terms the causes of development of nations? Are we not aware that days after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japanese students attended classes anyway? Are we not aware that countries like Italy – in which the COVID-related indexes are drastically worse than in Argentina – are returning to classes?
Culture is the best vaccine that can save children from the risk of violence and anguish that they are experiencing today. Among young people, the consumption of narcotics, alcohol and anxiety in 2020 grew like never before in Argentina. Much of this is due to the prohibition of a controlled bond that guarantees schooling. Military non-schooling, the cultural death of a generation is military. For these reasons it is essential to put all your imagination and creativity to sustain the school.
Exemplifying in Creole: today we have a government that puts more imagination and creativity in covering up its shortcomings than in guaranteeing the opening of classes.
How much imagination did they need to endorse the Artigas project within the framework of land usurpation? How much stomach did they need to restrict the dismissal of relatives or establish Police States that come to arrest a 10-year-old girl for not wearing a mask on the street?
For decisions, the national government has unitary criteria to impose and “federal” criteria to wash their hands. They are unaware of the reality of rural schools where enrollment is less than 10 students, they are unaware of the reality of schools in towns and small cities where virus transmission is low or in municipalities where students do not use public transport to attend classes due to the closeness. And so and everything, Large cities with a methodology and a strong alliance of the well-intentioned educational community are ready for the return to school.
50% of the boys do not finish school in a timely manner, and many never do. And in the event that they finish it, a large percentage do so without being trained in such basic issues as text comprehension, languages, among others. A stop like the one that was lived in 2020 multiplies these shortcomings immeasurably. Conditioning the entire life of the boys and their families, not being present disrupts family life and downplays the key role of teachers: Today the National Minister and his syndicalist accomplices look down on teachers trying to make us believe that a zoom can replace the teaching process.
Despite the opinion of those who boycott education, the return of classes is urgent. The kids, teachers and parents ask for it. It is an imperative of common sense and of all those who believe that with a better education we will have a better country. It is time for those of us who think differently to be attacked less and face the educational problems suffered by many Argentines.
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