Wednesday 8 February 2023

Costa Rica keeps schools open despite pressure from unions

Unions demand closure due to increase in Covid-19 cases; Education Minister recalls that educational centers are not the main sources of contagion

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QCOSTARICA – Despite the pressure from the unions to suspend face-to-face classes due to the new wave of COVID-19 infections, the Minister of Education, Guiselle Cruz, decided that schools and colleges “must remain open.”

On February 8, the country returned to the classroom presence, but not with all the students at the same time, but divided into groups and with a series of hygiene protocols. Photo: Rafael Pacheco

“To close the educational centers, again, is to compromise the future of the students, it is to permanently affect their cognitive and social development; truncate their future and stop protecting many of them who live in a vulnerable condition. Scientific studies around the world show that educational centers are not the main centers of contagion or spread,” said the Minister, this Monday.

Last week, the Junta Paritaria de Relaciones Laborales proposed a return to virtuality for all students, and to stay in that modality for the remainder of the first semester.

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Even the Asociación Nacional de Educadores (ANDE), one of the stronger public sector unions, called on parents on Saturday not to send their children to classes, despite MEP orders on the need to keep students in classrooms.

“We are making every effort to comply with health protocols to stay in combined education, without continuing to affect the education of our children and adolescents. Our priority is the protection of the life and health of our staff, students and their families,” said Minister Cruz.

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