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Determined not to lose the debate on education with the opposition, the Government has already activated its plan for what the school year will be for 2022. It anticipates that there will be at least 190 days of classes and attend the classrooms face-to-face always and when the coronavirus pandemic allows it. It also projects a smooth start despite the fact that beforehand it will be necessary to agree on a Salary increase with teachers’ unions and restart the vaccination for teachers.

“February is the month of education.” With that phrase, which is repeated forcefully in the Executive, the ruling coalition conveys one of its main objectives for this year: “Recover the banner of education. Do not let the opposition steal it from us again.”

The statement is in reference to the battle that the opposition gave last year for attendance in classrooms, in the midst of the suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In which Together for Change, at the head of the Buenos Aires government, went to the Supreme Court of the Nation with his claim. The legal battle not only gave the management of Horacio Rodríguez Larreta the victory, but also gave him, in practice, recognition in terms of education that until then the ruling party considered its heritage. And now he’s willing to get it back.

“The political decision of the National Government is to work for quality education for all provinces,” he assured in dialogue with THE NATION, the Minister of Education Jaime Perczyk. After which he added that work is also being done for “total attendance” in the classrooms. For that, they have already fully activated what will be the 2022 school year, which in 22 of the 24 jurisdictions will begin on March 2, while the City of Buenos Aires will do so on February 22 and Corrientes on the 14 of that month. The consensus with all jurisdictions is that the cycle is 190 days.

The Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, and the Minister of Education, Jaime Perzyck, at a press conference at Casa Rosada
The Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, and the Minister of Education, Jaime Perzyck, at a press conference at Casa RosadaTelam

During the first week of February, the meeting with the unions is scheduled, which will mean the starting bell for the salary negotiation. There is no exact date yet, but it would be within the first week of the month.

While the other key data of the calendar that is looked at with expectation is that of vaccination in minors. The official authorities consider it necessary to “intensify vaccination”, while showing optimism for the values ​​that already exist, taking into account that in the case of children between 3 and 17 years of age, the inoculation began in October. According to official data, 63.9% of children and young people between 12 and 17 years old have the complete dose schedule. While another 20% have already started it. While in children between 3 and 11, 44% of them have applied the two doses and 19% one.

As for the teaching staff, always according to official data, more than 90% have the complete scheme and are already receiving booster doses. For next Thursday, in a visit that President Alberto Fernández will make to a vaccination center in Berazategui, it is expected that from there he will make reference to the importance of the third dose for teaching staff, in front of unions in the area.

Regarding the revision of the salary guideline from the Government they expect a “complex discussion” with the unions, but they emphasize that they have the vocation to “agree”. In the logic of negotiation, from the Executive they repeat the formula that they apply in other areas and that seeks “for wages to beat inflation.”

The other front that the Government looks at carefully is the contagiousness of the Ómicrom variant. “It concerns us”, they synthesized. At the same time, they highlighted that the behavior of the variant shows that the cases go up fast, but they also go down in the same way. “Everything is very dynamic,” they added. However, they emphasized the care measures that must be maintained in the classrooms. “What is happening in other countries is being looked at,” explained official sources, and they stressed the importance of combining vaccination with care measures: mask, distancing and ventilation.

Vaccination center for teachers in CABA,
Vaccination center for teachers in CABA,Silvana Colombo – THE NATION

The Government also poses connectivity as a challenge. They aim “to connect 90% of students and 70% of schools during the year.”

From now until the end of March they hope to do so with 2,500 schools, repeating the same number in April, June and September. At the same time they aspire to continue with the search for all the students who left the classrooms so that they can reintegrate. And in that sense they also highlight that there are 400,000 students in summer schools. Focused on data on investments in education, from the Executive they also highlight that at the end of last year the Progresar Scholarships had more than 330 thousand registered.

It is expected that in February the President will announce a new proposal for technical high schools to strengthen the link between institutions and work, one of the main problems in the young population, in which serious difficulties are noted when seeking to enter the labor market. .

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