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Call to rescue quality education in Panama

Jose Ramón Icaza

Call to rescue quality education in Panama

Panama, Dec 5 (Prensa Latina) The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap) called today to rescue quality education, a sector it compared to a patient in intensive care.
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In view of the 2022 school year starting next March, the report, “Education, Shared Responsibility”, signed by the head of CCiap, José Ramón Icaza, and to which Prensa Latina had access, warns about the negative impact of the closure of classrooms for two years due to Covid-19.

The recently published results of the 2019 Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study, according to the text, reflect the precarious situation of students in subjects such as Spanish,reading, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, recognized as priorities for the functional performance of people.

In all these indicators, Panamanian students were below the regional average and among the last positions.

A document delivered to the Presidency of the Republic within the framework of the Bicentenary of Panama’s Independence from Spain, last November, contains agreements to promote quality education for marginalized groups and territories, and to guarantee higher standards of teacher training, the message specifies.

According to Icaza, the 2022 School Calendar should be seen as the signal to improve education, guarantee that 100 percent of students return to the classroom and address the needs of this sector with a sense of urgency.

National education is not a job that can be left only to the politicians or governments in office, because it is a shared responsibility, adds Cciap.

Regarding the shortcomings of virtual education, Cristian Munduate, resident coordinator of the UN in Panama, recently warned that education is one of the elements that requires presence and urged not to leave children behind.

In one of the longest closures on the continent, on-site classes in public and private schools in Panama were suspended in March 2020 after the appearance of the first cases of Covid-19 in a school.

Months later, students began to receive virtual classes irregularly, but a significant amount did not have the means or connectivity to receive virtual classes, with emphasis on rural areas of difficult access and the gradual return in May of this year was stopped due to an increase in the number of infected students.

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