translated from Spanish: Issue of office on contracts for the provision of educational services

With regard to contracts for the provision of educational services concluded by holders of paid private educational establishments, the Superintendency of Education issued an office addressed to the National Consumer Service (Sernac) inform the requirements related to the enforceability of the payments envisaged as consideration for the educational service, following the suspension of classes decreed by the Ministry of Health.The document refers to three central points, among the listed: the subject of the contract for the provision of educational services; the suspension of classes and their regulated effects; and the annual nature of the contracts and the impossibility of terminating the contract for the provision of services for non-payment in advance. In these areas, the Superintendency of Education reported that the purpose of the contract for the provision of services concluded with a subsidized or privately paid establishment is the delivery of education under the conditions imposed by the legal regulations and applicable regulation, i.e. if the service is paralyzed by exceptional circumstances, such as the decision to suspend classes as a measure of the health authorities, certain services that, not being essentially educational, are given in the concert of the provision of educational service, such as the supply of food; the duty of care of those students who voluntarily attend the establishments, mainly in those socio-economic contexts in which the only instance of custody and surveillance is precisely the educational establishment. In this sense, the Superintendent of Education, Christian O’Ryan, noted that «today we are living in an exceptional situation worldwide, and facing a state of catastrophe, therefore, the relationship between educational establishments and the proxies has to be coordinated to carry out the educational process of our children and young people as best as possible.» What we have monitored is that schools are providing educational service differently because of the health context, we see teachers working, planning classes, sending content, even with proxy meetings through remote means. Therefore, while there is a private contract regulating this relationship, today it is necessary for all members of the educational community to commit to carrying out this exceptional process in the best possible way, for the well-being of the students,» he added. With regard to the suspension of classes under exceptional circumstances of fortuitous case or force majeure, the document states that it is an expressly provided for by educational regulations as well as its effects, therefore establishments should have the approval of the Regional Ministerial Education Secretariats for the re-alignment of classes for the fulfillment of the school year, enabling them to comply with the purpose of the contract. Exceptionally, the document notes that a plan that does not consider student face-to-face assistance will be allowed to be designed. In addition, the trade emphasizes that since the contract for the provision of educational services is of an annual nature, students have the right to remain in educational establishments until the end of the school year, regardless of the compliance of the payment obligations under contracts for the provision of educational services. In return, the holders would be entitled to demand payment of the agreed benefits, even if exceptional circumstances such as the suspension of classes occur during the year, as long as the measures required by the educational legislation are taken, to prioritize compliance with curricula and programs.» We are coordinated with Sernac to discuss the various cases that are being presented and thus not affect the process of teaching-learning of children,» said Superintendent O’Ryan.



Original source in Spanish

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