Debate continues on reopening schools

Several Dominican Public School Teachers Association (ADP) members are keeping their position against the reopening of the nation’s public school system. Public school teachers are paid the same with schools open or not

So far, the Ministry of Education has opened schools in about 60 municipalities where the positivity rate for Covid-19 is less than 5%.

A former president of the ADP, Eduardo Hidalgo, told reporters that he felt that the reopening would be “imprudent” since it would expose teachers, parents and students to the virus. Hidalgo noted that there were thousands of teachers and administrators that have yet to be vaccinated. For weeks, the National Vaccination Plan has been vaccinating teachers nationwide. As of 10 May 2021, the vaccination plan enters Phase III calling for all documented persons of 18+ to be vaccinated at any of the thousands of vaccination centers nationwide.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education announced the reopening of all of the schools, after receiving permission from the Health Cabinet. Leaving a meeting at the Presidential Palace, Xiomara Guante, the current ADP leader, told reporters that the government had received heavy pressure from the private sector to reopen. She noted to the reporters, “you know what that pressure is.” Both Hidalgo and Guante called for the proper repairs and conditioning of the public schools before these reopen.

Meanwhile, teachers working in the few in-person schools that are open say they are having to start as if it were the first day of the school year because the students for the most part have not assimilated the distance learning instruction.

Private schools for months have said they are prepared with international protocols to resume classes nationwide.

The Dominican Medical Association (CMD) is against the restart of schools.

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El Nacional
El Nacional
Diario Libre

10 May 2021