Comodoro Rivadavia (Agenzia Fides) - "The educational tragedy requires unprecedented actions. We believe that if one of the invisible consequences of the pandemic throughout the country has been the deterioration in the education of our children, adolescents and young people, in our province of Chubut it is a true tragedy".
The alarm has been launched by the Bishops of the diocese of Comodoro Rivadavia and the Prelature of Esquel on the educational situation in the Argentine province of Chubut.
In their statement, sent to Fides, they underline that for four years or perhaps more, students have not had a full year of face-to-face classes, just like in the whole province there are boys and girls who are in the last years of the primary level, do not know hold a pencil in their hand, they have serious difficulties in reading and writing; they do not understand how to do basic math operations, etc. In addition there is school dropout at all levels and the the low evaluation of educational processes by adults.
"If we add to that the nutritional problems children have and the increase in situations of abuse that are not noticed due to lack of schooling, the drama is enormous. We are facing a real educational tragedy", denounce the Bishops, who despite everything exhort to avoid discouragement and not to consider it as something irremediable. "The State can get out of that circle with stability in the timely payment of teachers' salaries, with the recognition of equality, and guaranteeing salary equality with other state workers".
Some schools do not have their buildings ready after two years of the pandemic, and this means that many young people from small towns see their educational continuity compromised, the document stresses. For this reason, they ask the union not to use the suspension of classes as a method of protest, and parents to take responsibility in the fight for the education of their children. "Families are called to make a true formative alliance with the school: get involved in what should be the real fight!" the bishops urge, calling on all of society - even those without school age family members - to investigate this problem, form an opinion and act. "If each one of us makes it known that we want the state to use our taxes and revenues to favor education spending over others, it is inevitable that a change will be generated". The Bishops conclude with this exhortation: "It is time for teachers to recover their fundamental identity, which is that of teaching, and for the State to privilege the direction of its resources towards education. In this avoidable tragedy, if we do not each assume our responsibilities - all of us - God and the Country demand it of us". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 15/3/2022)