June 14, 2021

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They request that the process of reopening, repairing or relocating schools affected by earthquakes be investigated

View of a public school collapsed by the earthquake in the municipality of Guánica, Puerto Rico. Photo: EFE / Thais Llorca

Guayanilla – Representative José “Cheito” Rivera Madera presented on Tuesday several resolutions requesting chamber commissions to urgently carry out investigations on the problems in his district due to the earthquakes last year.

The first Resolution would be sent to the Education and Security Commissions of the lower house, so that they can carry out an exhaustive investigation regarding the process of reopening, repairing or relocating the schools of the Department of Education (DE) located in the municipalities. from the southern part of Puerto Rico, which suffered structural damage as a result of the earthquakes.

Legislator Rivera Madera, who represents the towns of Yauco, Guayanilla, Peñuelas and Ponce said that the safe return of students and teachers to schools is vital, “since distance education does not seem to have achieved acceptable academic standards, both as emotionally ”.

“We cannot lose another year without our students from the south receiving proper training. We are already experiencing the chaos that virtual education has constituted and the reality that hundreds of students lack the necessary devices and internet due to the inefficiency and improvisation of the Department of Education, ”said the representative for the Popular Democratic Party in a written communication .

He added that, given the case that the designated Secretary of Education comes from the presidency of the Puerto Rico Teachers Association (AMPR), it would be expected that she is aware of the situation, which also harms the teachers and the parents of the students , and that it be a collaborative resource in this Investigative agenda to search for solutions.

“Once the Commissions have the necessary information, they will be able to issue a report in a responsible manner that will serve as a working instrument to develop a short, medium and long-term plan regarding the return of our teachers and students to schools, including an immunization plan against Covid-19 for teachers, DE employees and students, ”the legislator ruled.

A second resolution that would define the pattern to address the educational issue was presented by Rivera Madera, in which he requests that it be established 12 months in advance as a minimum time for the central government to report on the closure of a campus.

“We are totally against the closure of schools, and those that closed, in most cases, were closed with a notice of less than a month and sometimes a week, with unknown objectives, since many ended up ruined and others in the hands of those close to the New Progressive Party, ”said Rivera Madera.

He indicated that: this has to end and that if the government intends to close a school, it must notify it one year in advance and provide the alternative of public hearings with the school community, parents and students to hear the complaints and their possible alternatives.

“You cannot close a school in Barinas (Yauco), Las Magas (Guayanilla) Tallaboa Alta, (Peñuelas) or El Tuque in Ponce, with a“ sketch ”and bureaucratic determination from Hato Rey, where they don’t know how -without GPS- reach them, “said Rivera Madera.

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