I wouldn’t normally update my blog so soon, but I find myself with unexpected free time since school was canceled for today, tomorrow, and indefinitely beyond that…
The teachers union has declared a “Huelga Indefinida”, an indefinite strike to protest a law that would require all teachers to pass examinations. The current teachers who failed the basic skills test three times would also be fired. One of the union leaders was quoted as saying, “It’s like telling a student that doesn’t pass exams, just go home.” Right, the only difference is that children depend on these teachers to teach the material on these exams, not just learn it… which would give a better explanation for students currently failing tests as well.
The subdirector at the colegio (vice principal by American school structure) told us the news this morning, and said it could be a few months or more if they could not come to an agreement with the legislature. When we remarked, “The poor students”, his concern was seemed minimal, and he said maybe they would make the days up in January, during their summer break.
At the same time, in reading news articles and blogs on the topic, it seems that the teachers are trying to stop passage of this law at least partially because they want to include a larger budget for education and teacher training for every teacher. Both of these things are necessities for Peru to improve their education, and they are correct in that the government isn’t doing this on their own. It seems that both sides are fighting each other, but which side really is fighting with the best interests of the children and their education in mind?
In light of the strike, we will be meeting with SKIP staff and volunteers to discuss how SKIP will react, including possible extra classes or different activities for the children. Also, we need to discuss how we will use this strike, the newest attack on education for the children of Peru, to go forward with the advocacy project.
Meanwhile, I thought I’d post a report done on SKIP by news here. Even if you don’t understand Spanish, you can see some of the SKIP children, families, and volunteers in action![youtube]AkwAv9Naets[/youtube]
Posted By Sara Zampierin
Posted Jul 4th, 2007