Sunday, 27 September 2020

SALARIES?

During last week I spoke with ten teachers. (Has anyone else?) And I also have read perhaps fifty or more anti-education, anti-teacher commentaries from commenters of both English as well as Spanish language media. Mostly negative in tone and some in substance but mostly not.

In fact, our newly elected president is encouraging teachers to go back to school and educate stuendts,”do not forsake the students, ” he said.

I say, as Blake Shelton the “Voice” might say “CRAP.”

Please understand unless there is extraordinarily pressure on government within a government controlled society not much will happen. A strike, a work stoppage and perhaps road blockage leading to violence is about the only way to get the attention of those responsible and to obtain results.

- paying the bills -

If the teachers do not strike and the students sit on their collective butts or work the fields, it will be Christmas before the government will ever solve the so called glitch in the software finally allocating normal, monthly salaries. (An outside programmer could probably make it correct in a day. Just ask some fifteen year old kid who is renting surf boards on the beach and she/he is the expert to fix the problem.)

Regardless, how do we, as a wanna-be developed country justify not to pay its school teachers, some as far back as February of 2013?

“Hey, do you want the job?”

President, Solis is asking the teachers to go back to work. What if these were his legislatures, his police, his ministers? Would they go back to work? And if the teachers do go back to work, as some have, after borrowing funds to eat, pay rent and cover utilities, how are they to be compensated?

I have read many expat criticisms of the public school system itself. Some valid but mostly just conservative bull. Try teaching on the “frontera” in the “campo” and if you do not know these two words: shame on you.

- paying the bills -

They have never taught in any public school, never observed a public school class, have no idea the job of a teacher in a public school, have zero (no) way to measure the quality of the MEP system and if one of these critics can teach algebra better: Then do it!

We are a country founded on education over the military and the great challenge is to provide and teach to the hundreds of rural areas where one instructor is in a class with 40 students and there is no running water, lunch nor security from gangs and narco-trafficantes.

As a highly political and complicated developing country, Costa Rica is doing the best it can. But, regardless of politics, educators need to be paid, indeed honored. They should not, cannot have their personal credit ratings destroyed nor be unable to make essential personal payments because of some phantom computer glitch that to this day nobody seems to understand.

The President, is a populist, but needs to put the pressure, the hammer on MEP to find a way now, not next week or the week after to get these 13,000 people paid in full. That is a short term, yet critical objective of this new Administration.

Juan Sebastian Campos
Juan Sebastian Campos
An expat from the U.S., educator and writer in English and Spanish since 1978 with a doctorate in business administrations (DBA) from the United States and Germany. A feature writer for ABC News, Copley Press and the Tribune Group with emphasis on Central America.

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