April 17, 2021

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Teachers Federation asks to keep open schools used in elementary schools

In the midst of the chaos that resulted in the primaries this Sunday, the Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico (FMPR) expressed its dismay at “the use for said process of schools that were closed to children, despite the claims against the closure by the school communities. ”

Mercedes Martínez Padilla, president of that union, indicated that“ if the schools could be enabled to use them in voting, they should be available to students and educators when conditions are safe and allow the resumption of educational activity in person ”.

" We do not see how a partisan process of selection of candidates, which to top it all led to a great disaster, may be more important than having schools available to attend educational needs in the midst of a pandemic that requires strict protocols, physical distancing and smaller groups of students to avoid contagion. ring where the government's priorities are placed ", pointed out Martínez Padilla.

" It is painful that many of these schools belonged to communities that gave a titanic struggle to remain open and the government did not listen to their demands. Many of the children were displaced to schools very far from their homes and in overcrowded conditions, "he added.

The Federation of Teachers said that among the schools closed for educational use that were conditioned and opened for The elementary schools are:

-Marcelino Canino Canino de Dorado – It was the only Intermediate school in the Maguayo neighborhood of that municipality

-Luis Muñoz Rivera de Dorado School – Built in the 80s, with better building codes that many schools on the island, ready for Tsunamis. The community maintained a fight against its closure through a camp that lasted more than 40 days in the summer of 2018.

-Hipólito Caldero de Corozal School – This campus had with agricultural projects, ecological education, music programs where the student body was taught to play the Puerto Rican 4. They had an alliance with the custodians of the Montechoca State Forest nature reserve , with whom they conducted a free summer camp every summer for children. The school community fought a big fight to save the school and was not listened to.

-Rosa Bernard de Río Grande School – Its school community mobilized without achieving the revocation of the closure determination issued by the federal defendant Julia Keleher today.

"This is just a sample of some schools used, but there are more than 100 schools that were closed by this administration and that were conditioned and reopened for primary schools. The priority for us is the education of our students and the people , for which we demand that these facilities are available for when it is possible to reopen the face-to-face teaching process *, said the federated spokesperson. For this purpose we remind the governor that Senate Bill 1583 that lies in her office, approved by unanimously by the Chamber and Senate, it is awaiting its signature. It allows the reopening of the closed schools to return them to the community. It is time for the or sign and become Law.

“We take the opportunity to warn that the primarista debacle dislocates the school operation. Many schools will be used again next weekend for voting, after which they must be disinfected. This, together with the lack of control of COVID-19 infections in the country, should lead the Secretary of Education Eligio Hernández to desist from any face-to-face work plan until the severity of the epidemic is reduced. In passing, we urge the agency to take advantage of this time when there will be no students or staff to repair the schools that were affected by the hurricanes and earthquakes. It is time for all public schools in the country to be taken to the earthquake resistance. The teaching staff and the student body have the right to decent working and study conditions so that once contagions are controlled and reduced, they have safe schools to return to ”, Martínez concluded.

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