Guayaquil, Feb 7 (Andes).- The Ecuadorian government marked Tuesday a milestone in the development of public education by simultaneously inaugurating 16 schools that benefit more than 8.000 students, especially in rural areas in the provinces of Manabi, Esmeraldas and Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas.
During a ceremony at the Olmedo Millennium Schools, in the coastal city of Portoviejo, the chief of state talked about improvements in education which allowed Ecuador moving from the worst in the continent to the best in the region.
Among the schools are Olmedo Millennium Schools, Luis Felipe Chavez School of the twenty-first century and Anthony Alvia Aguayo and 13 additional in Montecristi, Junín, Rocafuerte, Jaramijó, in the province of Manabí, Esmeraldas and in Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas benefitting a total of 17.400 students.
Student Josue Alvear, from Jaramijo, told his experience during the earthquake and how sad he was after losing his home and after his schools was destroyed. He later thanked the Ecuadorian president for his new school which has a soccer field, a big cafeteria and computers.
“I’m grateful with the president because I know there is someone who’s worried about me and the country. In spite of my condition, I fight every day with the help of my family. Thank you all for letting me be part of an inclusive education where rights are respected and everyone has opportunities,” he said.
The chief of state mentioned that the construction of these new schools was possible thanks to resources obtained from the so-called Law on Solidarity, approved by the Assembly after the earthquake from April 16, which political opponents opposed.
“We will build 357 schools of the twenty-first century, 200 of them with capacity for 1.140 students per period and 157 with capacity for 300 students per period. 26 will be located in Esmeraldas, 116 in Manabí and 15 in Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas without taking into account the Olmedo School which was restored. 15 pre-manufactured units are being inaugurated and additional 38 millennium schools will be inaugurated until May. This is an unprecedented revolution of education,” he said.
13 centers will also be restored, 46 units of the twenty-first century and 57 special units of the twenty-first century.
Moreover, 51 more schools are being built and 38 additional will be inaugurated before finishing his term. So, 162 millennium schools will be ready or under construction.
Investment in every millennium school is 1’413.000 dollars but 6.6 million dollars were invested in Olmedo Schools since it suffered damages after the quake.
“We have gone through difficult times and the country continues breaking records,” the chief of state said when recalling the external factors and natural disasters that affected the national economy which have been overcome without affecting the poorest population.
Hundreds of students, teachers and parents attended the historic event to inaugurate 16 schools on a day.
After mentioning how improvements in health and education benefit the rural population, he questioned the proposals of some right-wing candidates and asked citizens not to be deceived with demagogic pledges that will destroy achievements.
Minister of Education Freddy Peñafiel affirmed that they will inaugurate one school a day this year and insisted on the fact that quality is important for teachers “to make a difference, build a better education system that guarantees equity for all, free education,” he said.
He added that schools must be a safe place for development that includes all diversities with active participation of parents, students and teachers.
Technical and higher education
The head of state not only mentioned improvements in terms of basic education but also those at an academic level and in technical institutes.
On this matter, he referred to “demagogic and irresponsible” proposals of some candidates who pledge to close the Secretariat for Science and Technology (Senescyt) to allegedly guarantee student’s free admission to universities.
Correa recalled that putting an end to the government’s policy would mean to live on the past when thousands of students had access to education because of raffles, by paying or because of their influence.
President Rafael Correa inaugurated modern technological institution that will benefit fishing and aquiculture activities in Manabi.
He highlighted that now Ecuador is one of the countries that invest the most in higher education with 2% of the GDP when developed countries have an average of 1.8 percent.
On this same day, the Ecuadorian president inaugurated a technological institute in canton Jaramijo in the province of Manabí.
He added that this Technological Institute, built in four months with high quality standards, will boost production and will technologically support traditional activities in this canton including fishing and aquiculture.
Rene Ramirez, national Secretary of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, said 34 technical and technological institutes are being restored and built from which 7 will be inaugurated until May.
The president’s activities also included granting more than 1.200 scholarships for technical, technological and higher studies.