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Panamanian education in intensive care without oxygen

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Panamanian education in intensive care without oxygen


Posted 05/12/2021

The publication of the decree that regulates the school calendar of 2022 should "be seen as the signal to lift the shoulders of Panamanian education" says Panama’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of (Cciap) in a newsletter published Sunday, December 5.

Therefore, it must be guaranteed that "100% of students return to classrooms" and have as a priority "the needs of both infrastructure and curriculum" says the Chamber.

They would also have to focus on the academic recovery of the students, which should prioritize the areas of language, Mathematics, and Science.

The Cciap weekly newsletter also recalled that Panamanian education was, for years, a patient in intensive care. However, the decisions that were made for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic “have left the Panamanian educational sector without oxygen and with very delicate vital signs”.

They stressed that the recent results of the Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study of 2019, as well as those of the PISA tests in 2018 "reflect the precarious situation of students in such important subjects, such as Spanish-reading, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences, recognized as priorities for the functional performance of people ”.

Meanwhile, the recently presented report Panama, tell me !, an observatory that monitors the quality of life of Panamanians, reflected that 34% of students between 4 and 5 years of age "do not receive preschool education."

In addition, in Panama, secondary education is not compulsory throughout the level, so adequate coverage levels have not yet been reached for the current parameters.

"In summary, a significant percentage neither receive the foundations of stimulation that prepare them for school life nor complete high school, which, as indicated by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean 'is crucial to acquire the basic skills to be inserted in a globalized world", Explained the Cciap.

The Chamber stated that in the meeting with President Laurentino Cortizo he emphasized his commitment to continue supporting and contributing in order to implement actions that lead to quality education for Panamanians.


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Rescue of education task for 2022 – business chamber


Posted 02/01/2022

The rescue of education is one of the pending tasks facing Panama in 2022 says the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (Cciap).

The  chamber’s president  Jose Ramón Icaza said  Sunday that without the rescue "all efforts in terms of sustainable development, health and even institutions, will be in vain."

The business leader emphasized that democracy is not viable without a citizenry with tools that "make it free." Therefore, it is imperative that students and teachers return safely to the classrooms on March 7.

In addition to the return, it is important that "State policies" achieve the modernization of education, to which "we must all attend in a committed and visionary way."

Social Security time bomb
While working on this task, which “cannot be postponed”, Icaza said that urgent attention should be given to the issue of social security, especially the Disability, Old Age and Death program, “a threatening time bomb

"We are optimistic that the incorporation of the International Labor Organization (ILO) into the Dialogue for the Social Security Fund will help achieve these objectives," he added.

Icaza refers to the fact that the members of the Dialogue for the Social Security Fund requested that the ILO carry out an audit of the Disability, Old Age, and Death program, which would be ready in mid-2022, and then negotiations would be resumed.

On the other hand, Icaza also took advantage of its weekly message to state that it is necessary to achieve the reactivation of the various production fronts during the year that begins.

"With equal priority, it is necessary to move from expectations to concrete facts that allow tourism to become a factor of progress for the entire country," he emphasized.


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Panama condemned to failure if education system unchanged


Posted 06/03/2022

The return to face-to-face classes represents a new opportunity to face the urgent challenge of achieving quality education says Panama’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (Cciap).

On  Monday, March 7, the 2022 school term begins in person, after two years of the teaching-learning process altered by the pandemic.

In its weekly letter, the business association says that with the return to the classroom, the fact remains that before the pandemic, students did not assimilate the expected knowledge, which was later reflected in the international tests.

“The foregoing leads us to remember that, with the return to the classroom, we will have to face that other challenge that cannot be postponed: quality education. For nearly four decades, we have dragged this debt, which, surely, the pandemic deepened  ", said the Chamber.

“There are various studies that show the educational reality and the proposals to address the problem. One of the main conclusions is that no educational system will be better than the quality achieved by teachers and professors. In addition, it is necessary to work on a national comprehensive teacher training system.

"Additionally, there is a marked outdated methodology and study plans, which -among other things- are unrelated to the reality and needs of Panama and the world."

The Cciap recalled that it is necessary to address the insufficient and inadequate infrastructure, the inequity in access between educational regions, the existing disparity in internet access and connectivity, which are factors that affect the teaching process of students.

It is emphasized that Panama has a significant educational gap and that if the opportunity to correct the path is not taken advantage of the country will be condemned to failure.

“The return to classes represents getting back on track. Now it is urgent to take the next step: commit to the educational quality of our system”.


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