translated from Spanish: Fenats and Teachers’ Association call for resignation of the Minister of Education

In a joint press conference, the National Fenats and the College of Teachers pointed out the urgent need to change the minister of education, Raul Figueroa. They warned of the danger of children being infected with the new Delta strain of Coronavirus, whose entry into the country was confirmed yesterday.” There is scientific evidence that the vast majority of infections of the new Delta strain of Coronavirus from India occurred in educational establishments; this happened in Great Britain and Israel, however, the minister insists on resuming face-to-face classes,” said Patricia Valderas, president of the National Fenats, who assures that 100% of the ICU beds are occupied, denying the figures given daily by the government. In this same sense, Carlos Díaz, president of the College of Teachers, said that “the minister has absolutely abandoned his duties, focusing all his obsession on opening the schools, with or without the presence of the students; instead of focusing on the real problems of Education, such as connectivity and digital infrastructure for children to study.” We have learned that in some schools they have opened with 15 students and the minister looks happy. He should leave office, even, we believe that there is sufficient precedent to make a constitutional accusation against him,” he emphasized. The president of Fenats Nacional warned that “putting children at risk could be very serious, since during the pandemic, the vast majority of pediatric units and beds have been transformed into ICU beds for adults. At this time, there are no resources or specialized medical personnel to treat them. This mistake could cost many lives,” he said. In passing, he criticized the proposal of the Medical College, for not considering the physical and mental exhaustion of health workers, the need to allocate greater resources to the replacement and training of professional teams. Carlos Díaz described as a “profound failure” the government’s treatment of the pandemic; always arriving late and applying inadequate measures, without a fully sanitary approach. He warned that the new Delta strain of Covid-19, affects minors and that the school community is not willing to take that risk. He accused the government of “deceiving public opinion” by meeting with supposed representatives of the school community, because these representatives do not represent more than 5% of Chile’s parents and belong to private establishments, which are not representative of what happens in the country, where 95% of schools, high schools and kindergartens , they do not have the minimum safety conditions to control contagion. The demonstration that was shown by the media, was led by 40 private establishments, in the upper neighborhood, which are light years away from the reality of the rest of the schools, he said. Both unions called on the community “not to be fooled,” questioning the numbers of infections provided by the authorities and to unite to prevent more deaths of children from Coronavirus, which already total 81, to date.” Yesterday, while the minister of health asked for the extension of the state of emergency in Congress, at the same time, the minister of education asked elsewhere to return to face-to-face classes, even in Phase 1. That shows the government’s disregard for life,” Diaz said. He also denounced that it has moved to Phase 2, to communes that do not show concrete improvements in the rates of infection, but only with an economic criterion. The National Fenats – who regretted not having been invited to the meeting held by the Minsal last Saturday, to evaluate the status of the Step-by-Step Plan – blamed, directly, the authorities for the health crisis; “the lack of clear policies of the Ministry of Health is the great weakness of the government. Since the beginning of the pandemic, health unions have warned about the mistakes and needs of the sector, but there has never been a willingness to listen to us or work together,” Valderas said. “At the beginning, we had to file an appeal for protection to recognize the usefulness and necessity of using such basic items as masks,” he said. The leader recalled that there is a request pending in Parliament, requesting Minister Enrique Paris, to respond to the thousands of mistakes that have been made during the pandemic. “You have to make the figures that you are giving transparent, because the reality that you see in hospitals is not in line with the numbers. The amount of testing could lend itself to easily manipulating the figures in a whining way,” he said.

Original source in Spanish

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