Teachers said their will continue their strike action today (Monday) after failed talks between their unions and the government on Saturday.
The teachers unions, the Magisterio Nacional, the Asociación de Profesores de Segunda Enseñanza (APSE) and the Asociación Nacional de Educadores (ANDE), the largest of the teachers unions, have all agreed to continue the strike, now in its third week, despite the Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP) – Education Ministry, making a payment of ¢750 million colones in back salaries.
The government of Luis Guillermos Solís, inheriting the problem from the previous administration, has called on teachers back to the classroom, as the government make ever “possible technical and human effort to normalize the payment of the teachers salaries”.
At the core of the teacher strike is the failure by the MEP to make salary payments due to a problem with their payroll software known as Integra 2.
On the other side of teachers strike, today entering school day 11, are the 675.000 students who have their meals in school cafeterias. These are students who due to their social condition rely on their daily meals provided by their school.
Since classes are suspended while teachers take to the streets, parents have not been sending their children to school, and as such losing the possibility, in many cases, of having at least one meal a day.
Rocío Solís, administrative vice minister of the MEP, said that the 675.000 students were selected to receive the two daily meals are from a study of their social conditions. According to Solís, even if a school is not in session because of the strike, the students should get their meals.
The are currently 4.685 student cafeterias in the country.
“There are thousands of children not receiving their meals as usual. This is starting to be a very complex situation for the families”, said on Sunday President Luis Guillermo Solís, a teacher by profession.