Education in Argentina has been the object of controversy as of late. The country was excluded from the PISA exam results and now news coming out of the Santa Cruz provinces is showing that students there were only able to attend class 90 out of the planned 180 school days due to the teacher strikes and political instability.
In the interview with the national education minister, Bullrich said he had reservations on whether or not the National Education Ministry would authorize the high school diplomas for the province’s graduates. This morning though, Santa Cruz’s head education official Roberto Borselli explained that the degrees will be issued by the province’s education department after all.
While there is no denying that it has been a tough time for education in Argentina, a handful of dedicated learners and teachers have reminded all of us why effective schooling is worth fighting for.
Earlier in the week a photo of a young boy from the Qom community receiving his primary school diploma went viral. Efraín, a 13-year-old photographed next to his grandfather, Ángel Delgado, was handed his diploma by the director of the public school in Pampa Chica, in Chaco province. In conversation with Clarín, Efraín explained that he was the first person in his family to finish primary school, quite an achievement considering both he and his 10-year-old sister Celeste had to walk almost 6 kilometers everyday to get to school. The siblings live with their grandfather and uncle, who expressed their concern about what comes next for the dedicated young scholars, given that the closest high school is even further away.
However, Efraín is not alone in his fight for education. A reported 45 children from one of Guarani communities in Misiones have to swim across a river everyday in order to get to their school. After a concerted effort from local community members a bridge is finally getting built so the children do not have to face the unstable currents just to get to class. The literal lengths these young learners go through is remarkable.
To wrap things off this week we have is Silvana Corso, the Buenos Aires teacher in the running for the Global Teacher Prize — the so-called ‘Nobel Prize in Education for her work with underprivileged kids and students with learning impairments. Her dedication to her students and creative approach to learning has empowered her to have an impact on her students and the region.
Education, as with many things in this fine republic is a study in contrasts but is without a doubt a right many feel passionate about accessing and providing.