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Panamanian President urged educators to dialogue and avoid strikes

Panama City, May 13 (Prensa Latina) The President of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, called on the unions of educators to dialogue and to avoid the strike announced for next Monday, an official statement said today.

According to a statement from the Palacio de las Garzas (seat of the executive branch), after completing a working tour of the province of Coclé, the president told the press that these talks were intended to prevent the pressure from harming thousands of students from the official sector.

“This was an open-door administration and we listen to people … I am sure that at the dialogue table and by listening to the parties we can reach agreements that do not harm the students who end up being most affected, “reiterated he.

“We don’t want students in official schools to be harmed by not attending classes, enough of what has happened over the years of the pandemic,” he noted.

He stressed that his government made a great effort early on, paying educators millions of dollars in accounts that were in arrears and corresponded with previous governments.

Cortizo also said that the current situation of Panamanian education should affect everyone, especially given the results of international tests – unfavorable in terms of learning – and that this will be the case again this year.

On May 4, the National Association of Educators of Panama (ANEP) and other unions announced that they will decide on a strike on May 15 if the Department of Education (Meduca) fails to pay the approximately $15 million owed beginning in 2020. plus $34 million in repercussions.

Teachers will meet for a general assembly at the República de Venezuela school in the capital; and in other so-called battle bastions throughout the Isthmian lands.

Additionally, educators have described Meduca’s approach to questions about infrastructure conditions, books and guides that have not yet arrived in schools as negative and “dizzy”.