With a meager march the teachers of the public sector of Panama finalized this Friday a national strike of 24 hours, to demand to the recently installed Government of Laurentino Cortizo that increases the investment in the education and the improvement of the schools.
Leaders of the National Union of Educators of Panama (Unep), convener of the measure of pressure, regretted in statements to Efe the little participation of the educational unions in the march, but in contrast they valued the effectiveness of the work stoppage.
The tour, which was developed with the slogan "For the rescue of education", began this afternoon from the Republic of Venezuela school to the headquarters of the Presidency, located in the old town of the capital.
The march was carried out smoothly and peacefully, under the custody of a small number of agents of the National Police of Panama.
"The strike itself was a success, unfortunately there were teachers who did not participate in the march, we have to accept it, very little participation in the march," said Luis Lopez, general secretary of the National Front of Independent Educators, one of the 11 teachers' unions that make up the Unep.
Lopez, however, affirmed that "it is the first attempt" of a day of protest that takes place during this new Administration of Cortizo, and estimated that the walk involved about 1,000 teachers.
The demonstrations and mobilizations of the teachers' unions are usually nourished, but this time the low level of convocation can be attributed to what is a day of protest "very early" in front of a government that has just started its journey after its installation on July 1 last , for the period 2019-2024.
Nelva Reyes, coordinator of the National Union of Educators of Panama, told Efe that the strike was effective in the Caribbean province of Colon, as in the province of Veraguas and Panama, and that at the moment she did not have information about how developed in other parts of the country.
The legal advisor of the Association of Educators Veraguenses (Aeve), Rafael Benavides, considered in statements to Efe that the strike has been "quite significant."
As for the next actions, Benavides said that "everything will logically depend on the response of the Government" to a letter delivered to the Minister of Education, Maruja Gorday, with the requests of the educators.
A source from the Presidency confirmed to Efe that the minister of education met with the leaders of Unep to receive the document named by Unep as "The first 10 measures that every government must adopt to improve the quality of learning".
Among the ten requests stand out to allocate 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to education, complying with what is established by the Organic Law of Education.
Also improve school infrastructure, in order to have schools with 25 students per classroom to create better conditions for the learning process.
In a statement distributed during the march, the National Union of Educators warns in addition to the "continuity in the implementation of the neoliberal policy", as the Government's proposal to create Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), with which, they claim, It is intended to implement "a pilot plan of public schools operated by the private sector, and increase the hours and days classes."
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