A group of Costa Ricans seeks to gather 15,000 signatures to demand that the Government immediately suspend in-person classes in educational centers, until the red alert for COVID-19 infections passes.
Citizens published the petition on the change.org page where they assure that for life, health and the country, attendance at educational centers should be suspended. In the application, they sent a message to the Minister of Education, Guiselle Cruz, and to the Higher Council of Education.
“Costa Rica is going through the most difficult moment of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The increase in cases, the constant breakdown of record numbers in hospitalization, the imminent collapse of health services and the anguish of thousands of families who receive news about positive cases daily, are just some of the signs of the challenge we face as a society”, indicates the request.
“The educational centers are not alien to this reality. Despite the health protocols that can be implemented in the educational center, most of the student population uses cloth masks that do not have a high degree of protection against the virus, they perform group behaviors with weak protocols of distancing themselves in the educational centers and when they return home and show relaxation of sanitary measures in moments of rest or absence of teacher supervision”, they add.
the Citizen petition assured that: “The student population is part of social bubbles (their families) in which they live from the consequences of social inequality, with their respective repercussions on daily health practices, with the consequences of non-compliance with measures of protection by any of its members. At this point, it is important to specify that given the existing social sanction on people with COVID-19, many students do not inform the teaching or administrative staff of educational centers about infections in their families, as well as health orders; in other cases, it is reported days after regularly attending the educational center”.
“Likewise, maintaining the presence of the in-person school year implies a daily mobilization of almost a million students, tens of thousands of parents who accompany their children during the entry and exit routes, and the mobilization of more of 60 thousand civil servants of the public and private educational system. Avoiding this daily mobilization is part of the good practices implemented by Western countries to stop and reduce the increase in infections”, it adds.
The petition published by Cesar Toruño Arguedas indicates that: “Given these facts, national authorities such as the College of Physicians and the Ombudsman’s Office, have requested the suspension of the presence of the in-person school year as a strategic measure that, together with other actions, it would allow a decrease in infections in the coming weeks. This would reduce hospital pressure and save hundreds of lives ”.
In the initiative they indicated, that although in-person education is important and necessary for the development of students, in this historical situation the priority must be the health and the life of each inhabitant.
“For all the above, the signatories ask you to suspend the presence of the 2021 school year until the country achieves a significant decrease in the rate of infections and in the pressure of the health system,” concludes the letter.