The President of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, announced on Monday “the postponement of the face-to-face classes until December” at all educational levels, which were suspended from March 10 as a prevention of an expansion of COVID-19, which has left 9 deaths in the country.
“It is an unprecedented decision, we are going to do our best and ask for the collaboration of mothers, fathers, and the education sector. A different capacity will be built using technology,” said the president in a message and after analyze with the Ministries of Education and Health the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic in the Guaraní nation.
Abdo Benítez, from the conservative Colorado Party, also warned that “it is going to be a difficult year” and once again expressed his support and endorsement for the Minister of Education and Sciences, Eduardo Petta, one of the most questioned in his Cabinet.
After the first suspension, the Ministry launched a virtual class system, a criticized methodology given the poor quality of the Internet connection in the country, especially in the interior, and the impossibility of many families to access digital media. .
That model will have a “recess” between May 4 and 15 to continue in the second half of that month, Petta said after the intervention of the president.
In this period, the Ministry of Education and Sciences (MEC) plans to analyze a new process for carrying out educational tasks.
Petta confirmed that the intention of the MEC is “to reach the end of the year with the modality”, in addition to resorting to various television channels to broadcast educational content.
The minister announced that there will be a special schedule for third-grade students and for students in technical baccalaureate or distance learning, with parental authorization.
Regarding the health reasons that led the government to make this decision, the Health Minister, Julio Mazzoleni, also present at the press conference, recalled that although children do not represent “a vulnerable group” they can still be infected and present complications in those who already suffer from “basic disease”.
The Paraguayan president had already warned a few days ago that schools and borders would be the last to return to normal after the quarantine was lifted.
Paraguay will start on May 4 the first phase of its “smart quarantine”, as the Government has called the de-escalation of restrictions, and will allow factories, workshops, delivery services, collections or domestic employment to return to business, among others.