Novelties in Junior High School for next school year

Drawing appears in 7th grade and Natural Sciences splits into Geography and Biology. Every subject will have a single textbook.

Next (2017-2018) school year , junior high school teaching will undergo some changes, as part of the Third Improvement Process the Ministry of Education (MINED) is carrying out, aimed at correcting what has been done.

The contents in Natural Sciences are split into Geography and Biology; Drawing is introduced in 7th grade, all subjects will have a single textbook and there will be three workbooks (English, Drawing and Mapping).

Likewise, Civic Education will take on the name of Moral and Citizenship Education and each grade will have its own textbook, unlike what is happening in this regard at present.

While addressing the Education, Culture, Science, Technology and Environment Commission of the National Assembly of People’s Power on Tuesday, Education Minister Ena Elsa Velázquez Cobiella explained that the school snack remains and that teachers would teach and be trained as specialists in a single discipline.

Patriotic, citizenship, legal, scientific-technological, polytechnic, labor and economic formation; health and sexuality; sustainable development; vocational guidance and professional training will be cross-curricular contents in both, grades and teachings.

The minister also announced the opening of two new pedagogical training schools with higher-middle level in the coming school year, one in Baracoa municipality, Guantanamo, and another in the capital of the country.

So, the country will have 26 centers of this type, which train preschool, special education and primary teachers, as well as English language specialists for the latter.

She also announced the training of junior high school teachers with higher-middle level, geared at easing the deficit of educators. Each province will decide the specialties and capacities, according to the needs of the territories.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

Argentine Workers to Hold General Strike Against Neoliberalism

The nationwide strike coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum on Latin America.

Dozens of labor unions and grassroots organizations are calling for a general strike in Argentina on Thursday in protest of President Mauricio Macri and his neoliberal economic policies.

RELATED: Argentine Ambassador to US Quits Amid $2B Arms Deal Scandal

The strike coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum on Latin America, which is expected to attract thousands of business and political leaders from around the world to the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.

Argentina’s General Confederation of Labor, CGT, the country's largest union federation, is one of many organizations calling for and participating in the strike.

"There are many reasons why this strike has been called and hopefully it will cause the government to reconsider and really listen to the most needy sectors," Carlos Acuna Pena, a CGT leader, said on local television, Voice of America reports.

Since taking office in 2015, Macri has implemented austerity programs across numerous sectors of the country's economy.

Gas and electricity prices are rising. Jobs are being cut. Government institutions are downsizing while private companies linked to the ruling administration are getting tax cuts.

But Macri's rollback of social programs implemented by previous progressive governments is also thrusting many into the streets in protest of his administration.

Since early February, thousands of Argentines have led weekly protests across the country against the "Tarifazo," the national increase in gas and electricity prices. Armed with pots, pans and whistles, demonstrators have been calling for the resignation of Argentine Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren and a corruption probe against Macri.

RELATED: Argentina: Massive March as Teachers Vow to Continue Strike

Since early March, thousands of Argentine teachers in Buenos Aires have protested cuts to education. Members of the Union of Education Workers and the Teachers' Union of Buenos Aires led nationwide teachers' strikes against the government in response to salary decreases and school closings.

On Thursday, Argentine labor leaders hope to unite all sectors of the country's working class against the neoliberal government.

"The strike is an expression of discontent to everything Macri represents," Acuna told La Nacion.

"The problem we have today is that they do not recognize a problem that exists, that people lost purchasing power and are angry."

The World Economic Forum on Latin America will take place in Buenos Aires from April 5-7.

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Argentina: Massive March as Teachers Vow to Continue Strike

"Those who are disrupting are those who destabilize the lives of our families with their economic policies. We aren't afraid," said one organizer.

Thousands of teachers in the Argentine province of Buenos Aires vowed to continue their strike on Thursday during a massive protest in the provincial capital of La Plata.

RELATED: Argentina Teachers Unions Strike, Boycotting 1st Day of Classes

The demonstration — which was joined by health care workers and social movement organizations — marked the eighth day of walkouts by education workers in the province and a local continuation of a multi-day national teachers' strike last week.

Members of the Union of Education Workers, or Suteba, and the Teachers' Union of Buenos Aires, or Udocba, also vowed to continue their strike in spite of the efforts by Governor Maria Vidal — known as the "Margaret Thatcher of Argentina" — to divide workers.

"(This government) is used to the idea that everything can be bought or sold, but the dignity of workers is not for sale," Roberto Baradel, the head SUTEBA, told thousands gathered outside the provincial capitol building.

On Wednesday, Vidal vowed to levy fines against striking workers while promising salary bonuses to those workers who do not participate in the job action.

Leaders from both Suteba and Udocba vowed to continue their strike, while representatives from three of the six education worker unions in the province participated in legally-mandated conciliation talks with the government over demands for salary increases.

"We don't want to destabilize anyone. Those who are disrupting are those who destabilize the lives of our families with their economic policies. We aren't afraid. We don't have a price. They can't break us," declared Baradel.

The unions are demanding a 35 percent salary increase and a guarantee that no education worker will make less than the poverty line.

ANALYSIS: Teachers Leading Way Against Neoliberalism in Latin America

The demand comes after the national government of Mauricio Macri legislated a ceiling of 20 percent salary increases despite an inflation rate of 40 percent — created by neoliberal economic policies — which have pushed 1.4 million people, including many education workers, into poverty.

The unions are also demanding a return to national level salary negotiations after a recent decision by the Macri administration to devolve teachers' salaries to the provinces.

Alejandro Finocchiaro, Buenos Aires' education minister, said that a recent offer to increase salaries by 18 percent – well below the rate of inflation – meant that the continued strike is an artificial continuation of a conflict that has no meaning, that is irrational, that has a savagery such that has not been seen since 1988."

The provincial strike continues as representatives from Argentina's largest labor federation have called for a national general strike for April 6.

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After Teachers, Now Workers March Against Macri in Argentina

This unified protest is a preview for an upcoming national general strike to protest the Macri government.

As workers take to the streets and teachers strike for the second day in a row Tuesday, the Argentine government is set to deal with another national union strike, as the country's largest trade union has vowed to call for a large protest if President Mauricio Macri's administration fails to resolve outstanding labor disputes.

GALLERY: Mass Teachers Strike in Argentina

Tuesday's union march, organized by the General Confederation of Labor, known as CGT, boasts the support of social movements, leftists political parties, doctors, teachers, transportation unions, universities and other organizations that have expressed their discontent with the Macri administration and its economic policies, as well as the soaring 40 percent inflation rate.

"This is the beginning of the struggle plan so they respect the commitments made," said Carlos Acuña, one of the leaders of the CGT. "There are tests on the table, there is no more time for dialogue, they have to comply, it's the only way this situation can be reversed."

The march is a prelude to a strike the CGT is expected to schedule for the end of March or the beginning of April to ramp up pressure on the government if authorities do not fulfill unions' demands for better working conditions.

The announcement of the impending national strike comes as Argentine teachers entered the second day of a 48-hour national strike that postponed the scheduled beginning of the classes in the country in order to demand better working conditions and salary increases. About 50,000 people attended the protest on its first day.

Macri's chief of staff, Marcos Peña, said that the government "shouldn't be afraid or feel threatened" by the mobilization and called on labor leaders to restart dialogue with the administration.

RELATED: Argentine Soccer Players Strike Over Pay Disputes

"We are not going to anticipate (a strike), the unions also have the right to strike, but we do make a call that we could sit at a table," said Peña.

Peña blamed the CGT for failing to reach an agreement on wages and labor security, saying it has "an enormously fragmented representation."

Several politicians and political parties in opposition to Macri announced they would join the protest and demand that the labor union announce a national strike. 

"We are going for the national strike to break the Macri and his governors' austerity," said the leader of the Labor Party, Nestor Pitrola.

Labor issues were in the spotlight throughout Macri's first year in office, as hundreds of thousands of public and private sector workers lost their jobs, prompting fears of rising levels of poverty in the South American country.

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Mexico: Teachers on Strike for Missing Students

Teachers in Mexico announced an indefinite strike for the missing students in Guerrero. Across the nation, people have denounced the disappearance of 43 students and the murder of six people in Iguala. 
  • Published in World
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