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"The Education Ministry's priority is not to watch over our children's health but to guarantee the continuity of the government's agenda," the teachers pointed out.
The College of Teachers of Chile (CPC) Monday requested that students do not return to face-to-face classes this year and it urged the Education Minister Paul Figueroa to ensure a safe return to learning activities by 2021.
"The country does not have the health conditions needed to reopen classrooms," the teachers stated in response to the Education Ministry's intentions to send to the classrooms those students who live in areas without COVID-19 active cases.
Although the number of cases in the country is still on the rise, Figueroa insisted that 40 municipalities do not report new infections. Therefore, "over 46 thousand students can now return to the classrooms," he said.
"The Education Ministry's priority is not to watch over our children's health but to guarantee the continuity of the government's agenda," the CPC President Mario Aguilar said.
�� Schools and universities will begin online classes throughout Chile as all presence-based classes are suspended for two weeks to try to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The online courses will be monitored by the Ministry of Education.#chiletoday#COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/0ktb5iBDyj
"Who will be responsible if there are massive contagions due to the schools' opening? What will happen if a child gets infected and brings the virus home? Who will answer for the death of a family member?" Aguilar said.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Ministry was reluctant to determine the suspension of the face-to-face classes. Pressure from educational communities and municipalities forced the institution to make that decision.
"The return to the classrooms in 2021 must be a safe, voluntary, and gradual decision," the CPC members assured as they recalled that their assessments must be taken into account every moment.