Temas Especiales

08 de May de 2021

Nacional

Arraijan schools protest corruption

Angry teachers and parents are demanding better school conditions and denouncing corruption in the Ministry of Education (MEDUCA).

Angry teachers and parents are demanding better school conditions and denouncing corruption in the Ministry of Education (MEDUCA).

Earlier this week, the teachers of the Guillermo Andreve School of Arraijan closed down the Panamerican highway to protest delayed school repairs that have caused the students to loose classes.

Teachers gave classes to elementary students in the middle of the street, burned a dummy with the face of the minister and faced the anti-riot police.

The teachers and parents are accusing the Minister of giving out repair contracts arbitrarily without having them open to tender. Now 10 elementary schools and eight high schools from the Arraijan area will join the battle.

Jaime Batista a teacher from the Cerro Silvestre elementary school said the teachers started a 24 hour labor strike on Thursday to support the Guillermo Andreve School.

The protesting schools belong to the western region of the Panama province and were also on MEDUCA’s repair list.

They will be on the streets on Monday to wait for the Ministry’s answer.

If MEDUCA does not respond to their demands, the demonstrations could intensify.

The Teachers Associations from Panama and Veraguas joined the fray yesterday and presented a penal lawsuit at the Public Ministry against Salvador Rodriguez, current Education Minister, for alleged corruption crimes committed in MEDUCA.

Rodriguez defended himself saying his conscience is clean and that direct contracting is allowed by law.

He said that in the case of the Guillermo Andreve School, there was no competition at the tender process so the contractor was hired directly.