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Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 01:16 PM EDT

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Lucy Molinar Calls Upon Teachers To Stay At Their Jobs on Friday

Schools & EducationA teachers union has made a call for a march on Friday, but the Minister of Education Lucy Molinar asked the teachers to remain on the job, but this has been rejected by the educators. (more)

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It's "Back To School" Day in Panama

Schools & EducationBy Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com - It's always a big news day when children go back to school at the end of Panama's summer break.

This year - according to official records - 683,527 children will attend public schools, and 116,815 will attend private schools.

This school year will end on Friday, 19 December 2014, according to Executive Order No. 775 of August 27, 2013, signed by President Martinelli and Education Minister Lucy Molinar.

Here's a rundown of the school year calendar;

Organization: 17 - 21 Feb

First Quarter - 24 Feb to 30 May 2014. Holidays 3, 4, 5 March (carnivals), 17, 18 April (Easter), 1 May (Labor Day).

Break - 2 to 6 June 2014  

Second Quarter - June 9 to September 12. Holiday: 1 July (Presidential Inauguration)

Break - Sept 15 - 19

Third Quarter - Sept 22 to Dec 12. Holidays: 3, 4, 5, 10, 28 November National Holidays). Dec 8 Mother's Day. (Civic Days: Student's Day October 27, Teacher's Day December 1) (Panama America)

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Students Confronted Police Units On Their Second Day Of Strike

Schools & EducationA group of students from the National Institute took to the streets once again.

The students are protesting for the expulsion of some of their classmates who were involved in acts of vandalism in previous demonstrations. They are demanding to have their classmates reintegrated.

The students were throwing rocks and other objects against the police units who were trying to reestablish the order. The riot police units were spraying pepper gas against the protesters who were wearing hoods.

Today, the authorities of the institute and the students will have a meeting in order to reach an agreement. (Critica)

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Molinar: Note Sent By Crespo Is Only A Suggestion

Schools & EducationThe minister of Education, Lucy Molinar, explained the note sent by the vice minister of Education, Mirna de Crespo, to the Regional director, Federico Castro, about the National Institute, is just a suggestion, contrary to certain people who say their intention is to shut down the school.

In the note issued on October 24, the vice minister Crespo requests Castro “to analyze a valid proposal of eliminating the seventh grade of the National Institute for the year 2014.”

Minister Molinar said this is one of the several suggestions made by Crespo to start a plan in order to rescue “the good reputation of the National Institute.”

Molinar told TVN News they have made 8 to 9 suggestions, among these was to increase the academic level to be accepted in the National Institute, reducing the amount of students per class and evaluating the teachers of the school.

However, Molinar said all these suggestions were presented to the director in charge of the National Institute, and at the end any decision will be taken in consensus with the authorities of the school.

The education Minister said they have no intentions of shutting down the National Institute, but they do want to recover its image.

Even though the note says this decision must be taken as soon as possible to make the necessary readjustments before November 15, Molinar said there isn’t a final date, because these decisions must be consulted first. (TVN)

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Molinar Announced She Will Repeal The Decree 990

Schools & EducationIn the middle of the 2013 Ibero American Forefront Summit in Panama, the Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar announced she would repeal the decree 990, through which they created the National Department of Institutional Security within the Meduca.

Reactions to this announcement from the teachers’ unions were not far behind. About the matter, the leader of the Association of Teachers in Veraguas, Yadira Pino, said this action was the most logical thing to do.

According to Pino, the regulation was not justified because there is an institution for this already.

She believes Molinar has not shown to be capable of administrating the Meduca, which is why she is sure she took this decision after the society rejected the action of abuse of force taken against the teachers. (Panama America)

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Molinar: "There Is A Serious Violence Issue In The Institute"

Schools & Education"All the work carried out by the education system has been fogged by a group of people,” said the Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar.

At the Institute there is a serious violence issue and regardless of our attempts of handling this situation through other means we reached a point in which we had to take strong measures or otherwise we would regret it.

She explained there is a hate and violence culture with other interests. “I would love to recover the previous record of the Nest of Eagles [National Institute],” he said. (Panama America)

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Parents Reject The Action By The Police On The Students

Schools & EducationThe president of the parents club of the National Institute (IN), Carlos Rivera, rejected the way the National Police (PN) acted upon their entrance to the school, after receiving an order from the Education Ministry (Meduca) and arrested over 50 students.

"They took students that were in the middle of class, both good and bad, they took innocents; I despise the attitude of the National Guard,” he said.

He said it is quite interesting that the officials from the Meduca assure they have identified criminal bands but are not acting legally.

Rivera says “it seems the intention of the educational entity is shutting down the school.”

On the other hand, the vice minister of education, Mirna de Crespo, said the education center will not be closed because there is no time to recover class and it is not fair to affect the students due to the acting of third parties.

Earlier, the second lieutenant and chief of Minor Police, Erlin Miranda, said a total of 59 students were arrested and 5 of them were adults. He said those who were arrested were found with evidence linking them to the protests (masks and hammers).

Regarding the use of force applied to arrest the students, she said it was necessary because they were resisting. “The Meduca and the education center made this request because the students were assaulting people,” she said.

Some tried to escape, but the fast action of the police prevented this from happening.

On the other hand, Antonio Cañate, chief of security of the Meduca, said there was no other option tan authorizing the PN to enter the school and arrest the students.

He said the arrested students will be processed by the Minor Police. Several people were affected by the tear gas. (Panama America)

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Molinar Said They Will Discount The Classes Missed By The Teachers During The Strike

Schools & EducationThe Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar, said the main issue with the leader Yadira Pino is that she has not dared to tell the union members about the discounts in their paychecks, which was actually ordered before they signed the agreement.

Molinar said this outside of the interview because when she was questioned about the concerns of the Association of Teachers from Veraguas, who say they have not been assisted with a new schedule to recover the missed classes, and as a response the Minister strongly urged to put an end to this during this week.

“Would it be possible for them to recognize that the students have the right to be taken into account, so the country can see how far they’ve gone,” said Molinar.

The official opened the IX National Agricultural and Forest Olympics, carried out at the Coronel Segundo de Villarreal Institute in La Villa de Los Santos.

“We will see the results after a year of hard work with the teachers who have worked day and night training them for everything that will happen from today and on because we do not give them the opportunity to stand out,” she said.

The Minister also joined the students and teachers during the parade around the streets in La Villa de Los Santos. (Prensa)

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The University Of Panama Updates Its Curricula And Opens 25 More Careers

Schools & EducationThinking about educational excellence, the University of Panama (UP) is conducting a curriculum transformation process to include the renovation of 55 curricula and the introduction of new careers and an engineering school.

For the past several years, the UP has developed a process of metamorphosis in different careers offered, according to Miguel Angel Candanedo, general secretary of the UP.

He said the diagnoses in the labor market of the country has been a fundamental part to carry out a comprehensive review process of the curricula, aimed for the careers to respond to the advances in science and technology of our time, instead of being anachronistic.

There are at least 25 new careers in the fields of tourism, medicine, science, communication, engineering and technology.

NEW ENGINEERING SCHOOL

The innovation in the UP comes together with the new Engineering School, presented as a more economical alternative to those interested in this particular field.

This school has a total of 12 degrees to choose from, including Civil Engineering, specialized in Buildings and Infrastructure, as well as Industrial Engineering, Auditing and Management Processes, Mechatronics Engineering, Engineering in Risks Prevention, Safety and Environment.

The degrees will last from four to five years and will guarantee a complete mastery of the English language and technologies of information and communication to the students once they complete all of the courses.

This school will also be used as a pilot plan for the transition in the UP from having six-monthly courses to three-monthly courses. The engineering careers will cover three cycles of sixteen weeks per year, with a fixed holiday period from December 16 to January 15.

Currently, the University offers 150 degrees, distributed in 19 schools.

Those who are interested in continuing with their studies will have until next October 18 before the registration process ends. (Prensa)

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50 Students Were Arrested After Riot In Paitilla

Schools & EducationAt least 50 students were arrested by the Police after their demonstrations for the sale of the land where three schools are located in Paitilla turned into riots.

During the protest organized by the students, several people were affected by the pepper spray thrown by riot police units, while three units from the Metro Bus, as well as other vehicles, ended up with broken windows after the students were throwing rocks and other heavy objects.

Beyond this, the directors of the three schools in Paitilla, Richard Neumann, Isabel Herrera de Obaldía and Remón Cantera, went outside of the schools to ask the students to stop.

The Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar, said they will not take these schools out of Paitilla because there’s nowhere else to settle them.

Molinar said the students are driven by people who want to create uneasiness, and she blames these people for anything that happens, because they have been explained many times that they can’t sell the lands if they don’t have somewhere to settle them.

Martin Johns, director of one of the schools in Paitilla, said the protest organized by the students has no grounds, because they already know the lands will not be sold.

The teachers from the schools went to the streets to protest with pans, banners and chanting slogans. (TVN)

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