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Codicen shortens the distance between students in first year high school classrooms to one meter

The distance from the class benches first year of high school they may be one meter and not 1.5 meters, as established by the protocol until now. The measure reaches both the public and private spheres.

The Central Board of Directors (Codicen) received the approval of the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) to shorten the distances in the classrooms of the first year of secondary school in order to increase presence.

The counselor Juan Gabito told El Observador that the issue was discussed this Wednesday in the session of the body that directs the National Administration of Public Education (ANEP) and clarified that the distance of 1.5 meters is maintained for levels from the second year, as well as one meter in Primary. According to Gabito, this new measure for the classes of first year of secondary « It will bring many more students into the room. »

For the rest of the levels, both high school and the University of Labor of Uruguay (UTU) « We will have to see case by case » how the school year will be organized because the maxim is that “all students go to class every day”.

To solve the locative problem, Primary received several offers from departmental governments that contributed cultural centers or theaters (even the Solís Theater) to turn them into classrooms.

High school hall

Gabito explained that it will be seen « case by case » and that they will go out to look for more spaces outside of educational institutions. In this sense, the president of Codicen, Robert Silva, told El Observador that a team of architects is working « throughout the country » to evaluate the premises offered by the municipalities.

The Intendance of Canelones, for example, offered 35 neighborhood centers throughout the department that the Council team is evaluating these days.

Another of the changes enabled by the MSP, which the Codicen discussed in the session this Wednesday, is that the hours spent in the premises were increased from four to eight. Gabito explained that this measure It will not have an impact on the public sector, but it will have an impact on the private sector.

In fact, in a meeting days ago the schools had asked the authorities to review this possibility, because several activities, for example, bilingual schools, were left out due to this reduction in hours, as explained by the president of the Association of Private Education Institutes (Aidep), Juan Carlos Noya.

Schools will bet on presence this year. According to Noya, the institutions with reduced building spaces rented additional premises and containers.

In his latest report, the Honorary Scientific Advisory Group (GACH) suggested that, as the epidemiological situation is at the moment, with a community transmission level of three, with four being the most extreme, andn Primary classes are face-to-face and in Secondary it is « compatible with the criteria of distancing ». Scientists have repeatedly considered that education should be « The first to open and the last to close. »

The «utopia»

The National Federation of Secondary Education Teachers (Fenapes) has a skeptical view on the level of presence that can be achieved this year in high schools. For the vice president of the union, Marcel Slamovitz, the way in which the authorities are preparing the start of classes is « Absolutely chaotic. »

As he said, On January 29, Codicen informed Fenapes that this year education would go towards full presence and the directors of the high schools were ordered to find and propose venues for the courses. “All of us who know Uruguay, from Montevideo to Artigas, know that it is absolutely unfeasible, unfortunately there will not be full presence, « said Slamovitz, although he clarified that teachers « vindicate presence. »

The main impediment for that to happen, according to the teachers’ union, it is «the reduction of hours» teachers compared to last year. « Today there are more than 2,500 teachers, according to the survey carried out by Fenapes, who lost their jobs, » he said.

For her part, Mariana Romanelli, from Collective Organized Families of the Public School, said they are « More worried than last year », because the Uruguayan Federation of Teaching (FUM) stated in a statement that the general director of Primary, Graciela Faberyo, He expressed to them that «it is necessary to increase, as far as possible, the presence although he considers that full presence is a utopia.

The Observer contacted Fabeyro to consult him on those claims, who replied that he said « utopia in the sense that it is not possible at this time, but will be gradual. We all dream of it, but it will not be possible »and added that«not all centers will be open on March 1It will be an incremental process according to the possibilities of each educational center.