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Tuesday, July 29 2014 @ 10:45 AM EDT

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"I didn't work for myself, I worked for the country" - Lucy Molinar

Schools & EducationEducation Minister Lucy Molinar said she changed Panama's education system to create a structure ensuring the content of the curriculum is updated every two years. (more)

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Juan Carlos Varela Meets With Striking Teachers And Promises Dialog

Schools & EducationThe teachers' union leader, Yadira Pino, confirmed reports of having met with the president-elect Juan Carlos Varela, and they agreed to meetings in the coming days. (more)

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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.

Molinar thinks it is unfair that students will miss classes as a result of the teacher's march, who have already asked parents to not send their children to schools on Friday.

"I respect their rights, but clarify, their duties should come first and their rights after," Molinar said.

Regarding the wage increase, Molinar said the idea is to do a self-assessment for educators.

She said the teachers in the province of Chiriqui will be the first to receive this wage increase because some schools in this province have already begun the self-assessments .

Educator Gloria Lopez wants the $300 wage increase to be paid without having to do the self evaluation, and the rest of the money should go towards making improvements in the schools. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: You have to give a lot of credit to Lucy Molinar. She has been fighting battles with these deeply entrenched teachers union (idiots) since day one. She is completely and totally focused on trying to improve the entire education system to the benefit of the students - not so much the teachers who work in the system. For too long, those who were getting paychecks were making all of the decisions on how things are done, and the students suffered. So now the government has agreed to give them pay increases, but these "self evaluations" are a requirement in order to receive the raise. So now the never ending dirtbags are protesting (and refusing to work) because they don't want to complete the self evaluations. Why? Because it will expose them for what they really are - substandard. Keep it up, Lucy. You're fighting the good fight.

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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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