Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 03:44 PM EDT

View Printable Version

Lucy Molinar Hasn't Made Up Her Mind Yet - Still Might Resign

Schools & EducationAfter strong rumors of a possible change in the executive cabinet and that Education Minister Lucy Molinar might resign, she said she has not yet decided what she will do. When questioned by the media, Molinar said before making a decision she would meet with President Ricardo Martinelli, and the parents of school children. "I can not allow politics to be linked with the educational system," she said. Molinar was the only member of Martinelli's cabinet who refused to sign off on the judges who were designated to sit on the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, which appeared in the Official Gazette number 27,057 on 15 June. Molinar said she does not know who wants her removed from the Cabinet, but said she was not surprised by this possibility. "I guess there are some people who do not want me in the Cabinet, but that's natural," she said.

El Siglo tried to obtain a statement from the Secretary of State Communications, Eduardo Camacho, but he would only say the possible departure of Molinar is "hearsay."

The Unions Make A Statement: Andres Rodriguez of the Teachers Association of the Republic of Panama, said Molinar "is confused, because politics will always be part of the education system" and she was named by the highest political figure in the country. While Yadira Pino, of the Veraguas Educators Association, said the minister should have resigned "a long time ago" and her decision to leave her post would be "an easy way out of the chaos she has caused in the education system." Luis Lopez of the Authentic Independent Teachers Association, said such a decision must be made by the president. He added that, if Molinar does resign, they would request that the new Minister be more accessible and communicative.

Molinar Receives Some Support: In response to statements made by Molinar, the Federation of Parents of Central Panama through its president Aixa Gomez expressed their support for the Minister's work, when they said she has "contributed to improving the teaching and learning methods of students." They also asked the president, Ricardo Martinelli, to not accept Molinar's resignation. Gomez said so yesterday at a news conference. (Siglo)

Editor's Comment: Lucy Molinar is one of the shining stars on Ricardo Martinelli's executive cabinet. From the very first day on the job Lucy has always said that she just wants to be allowed to do her job, and that politics should be kept out of the educational system. She's not a politician, she wasn't elected, so why should she be forced to play political games?

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

National Institute Students Protesting - Asking For School To Be Reopened

Schools & EducationHigh school students from the National Institute staged a protest in front of the school to demand that the Ministry of Education reopen the campus. The protesting students said it should not be possible that only one school (theirs) has been closed, after students from several different schools participated on Tuesday 19 June 2012 in the riots at the 5th of May Plaza to protest the proposal to sell the state owned shares in the electrical and telecommunications companies. They hope the school will be reopened for classes on Monday, because in their view the students who are most disadvantaged in this situation are those who are behind in their studies. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: The new tactic being used by the government. If students from your school go out to protest, throw stones at police officers, close streets, or otherwise cause chaos, then the entire student body will pay a price. They close the schools so that the students are not all there clustered together as a mass, and they wait until the situation has cooled down before opening the school again and restarting classes. And when the school is closed for a week or two, all of the students will be forced to make up the missed work. The down time also gives the Ministry of Education time to study the video tape, to see if any of the students participated in acts of violence or vandalism, so they can be disciplined. How often do you see a group of students protesting because they want to go back to class? It's got to be having some sort of effect.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Molinar Will Talk To Martinelli, Apparently Mulling Resignation

Schools & Education"The decision taken by Minister Lucy Molinar is something she will decide together with the President of the Republic Ricardo Martinelli, and no one else," said Foreign Minister Roberto Henriquez. Henriquez said Molinar has refused to leave the Cabinet, and the President has not asked her to leave. "Apparently the Minister's situation has more to do with the constant tension with certain sectors of teachers, and the progress in Panama's education system, rather than with any situation that has occurred in recent days," he said. He said the idea has been sold that in the Cabinet there is one line thrown and everyone has to toe the line, but that's not the way it is. "When a decision is made, even if your not you agree, you as part of the team abide by the decision. Many times I have had to come to show my face on issues that don't have anything to do with the Ministry, but that's called discipline," he said on Noticias AM. Yesterday, Thursday a rumor circulated on the social networks over the possible resignation of education Minister Molinar, but so far she has not confirmed nor denied those rumors, and only said she would talk to Martinelli. (Panama America)
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Lucy Molinar Denies Rumors Of Her Possible Resignation

Schools & EducationThe Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar, said this Thursday, June 21, she does not want to promote "the culture of the rumor mill." Her statement came as a result of a rumor circulating through the social networks since early Thursday morning indicating her supposed resignation from the position she has held in the government of Ricardo Martinelli. The Minister of Education was the only one who did not endorse and sign the appointment of the magistrates of the Fifth Chamber - because, she said, she "was not in agreement - and she also was not seen at the press conference held last Tuesday, 19 June, where Martinelli said he would pull back those Supreme Court nominations. On that day the President was surrounded by the closest members of his team.

She Will Speak With Martinelli - Molinar said on TVN Noticias, "I wish I could have talked to the president (Ricardo Martinelli) in order to know, to agree on some things." However, she neither confirmed nor denied the rumors circulating on the social networks about her potential resignation from her position as the Minister of Education. Molinar said: "As long as we can keep this horrible politicking out of education, I'll be here." The minister insisted she would remain at the Ministry of Education (Meduca) "as long as the country wants and accepts the idea of ​​taking this horrible thing out of the education system," referring to politics.

From the Palace of the Herons, sources consulted this morning noted that the Executive does not know anything about the possibility of Molinar's resignation. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Good for her. I've seen her on several television interviews, when she shows up to talk about the work she's doing to improve Panama's public education system. When the journalists start to ask her about the political topic of the day, Molinar will flat out say "why are you asking me about that? It's a political issue and it does not have anything do to with me. I'm here to talk about the work we're doing to fix this country's education system." And, she's doing it. Lucy Molinar has my vote for "Education Minister For Life" or at least as long as she wants it. The rest of Martinelli's ministers would be well advised to follow her LEADERSHIP and the example she's setting. And the fact that she refused to vote in favor of the Fifth Chamber appointments shows her independence and principles. Martinelli would be "loco" to fire her (whoops), and if she's not going to quit, then I doubt she's going anywhere. Her message is simple - she want's to be left alone so she can work. Makes sense to me.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

University of Panama Expels Five Students Who Attacked Cameraman

Schools & EducationThe Academic Council of the University of Panama decided on Wednesday June 20 to expel indefinitely five of the eight students who attacked the cameraman Victor Acosta, who works for the office of Public Relations of the university, involved in the beating of May 30. Of the other three students who appear in the video and received no punishment, they could not identify two of them despite appearing in the video, while the other was not enrolled in college. On Wednesday, 30 May 2012 cameraman Acosta was near the Faculty of Dentistry, and he arrived in a university vehicle to film the protesting students who had been sanctioned because of the riots that had occurred one day earlier. He was attacked and beaten by the protesting students, and had to receive medical attention. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: Good. They kicked out five more of these idiots. Sooner or later they will figure out that the fundamental rules have changed at the University of Panama. These kinds of shenanigans will no longer be tolerated. Keep it up, and you get thrown out. Questions? Because you can expect to see this again on the quiz...

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

"The public should demand their right to an education" - Mirna de Crespo

Schools & EducationThe Vice Minister of Education Mirna de Crespo referred to the attitude of the leaders of the teachers unions and their constant threats to go out on strike. According to Crespo, the citizens of Panama should do more to support the administration of the Ministry of Education, and put a stop to the teachers, by claiming their right to an education. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: I'm a big fan of the Education Minister Lucy Molinar. She's trying to implement fundamental and far reaching changes within the Panamanian public school system. The teachers unions, and more than anything else a very small handful of left wing activists who don't actually represent the will of the majority of the teachers they are supposed to be representing, are actually engaging in political actions as part of their efforts to create and expand the new FAD political party. They want all public school teachers to sign up and follow them, and that's not happening. So, they are constantly doing these threats to go out on strike. Over what? The teachers have gotten raises and the masses are generally happy. Screw those guys...

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

University of Panama Sends Cases Against Students to Public Ministry

Schools & Education
Gustavo García de Paredes - Rector of the University of Panama
Gustavo García de Paredes - Rector of the University of Panama
The authorities of the University of Panama have informed the Public Ministry on the disciplinary proceedings they are conducting against some university students, after the riots and clashes with riot control police on Friday, 25 May 2012, said the rector of the institution Gustavo Garcia de Paredes. He said all of the students have been notified so they can present their defense, but they did not appear, so notices were published in the newspaper, where they were again notified that they have five days to do so. If the students do not present any kind of a defense, Garcia de Paredes said the process will continue, conclude, and then later the matter will go to the Academic Council where the sanctions will be applied to these students, which can range from a reprimand to their removal from the school.

As for the accreditation of the house of Octavio Mendez Pereira (the University of Panama), which was supposed to start today, Garcia de Paredes said it was suspended due to the environment which has been maintained at the university in recent days, because it is not right to receive the visit of external peers. According to the chancellor of the UP, the appointment of the external peers who are responsible for making the assessment, was done in a personal manner, so he is not in agreement, and he did not rule out the possibility of conflicts, and given this scenario it would be best to go to the House. He added while speaking to Telemetro that when he was a member of the National Council of Assessment and Accreditation of Panama, they never gave him the power to appoint the external peers as was given to Mrs. Mariana de McPherson, and he also thinks they did not comply with the law. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: Octavio Mendez Pereira was the founder and the first Rector of the University of Panama. Mariana de McPherson is the Executive Secretary of the Consejo Nacional de Evaluación y Acreditación Universitaria de Panamá (Coneaupa) (National Assessment and Accreditation Council of Panama). They are in the process of reviewing the accreditation of all of the universities in Panama, and the University of Panama is no exception.

Now it all makes sense. Now I know why Gustavo Garcia de Paredes has made this sudden about-face in his dealings with the perennial protesters (left wing terrorists) who have been using the University of Panama as a headquarters for decades. For the first time in history (practically) the "peers" (inspectors) from the Coneaupa will be going through the University of Panama with a fine tooth comb, to make sure they are meeting all requirements and specifications. And, Gustavo Garcia de Paredes already knows they are not in compliance. In this interview he's setting the ground work for a future confrontation, complaining about how Mariana de McPherson was the person who appointed the "peers" (inspectors) who will be conducting the evaluation. He came right out and predicted there will be "conflicts" as part of this process. In fact, the Coneaupa has the power to either cancel or suspend the University of Panama's accreditation if they fail to live up to the established standards. In short, Gustavo Garcia de Paredes knows what's coming, and he doesn't like it. He's been living in his little fiefdom for decades as the ruling king of the University, and (go figure) Martinelli has figured out a way to even break that one apart. How's that for the democratic change, eh? Gustavo Garcia de Paredes is punishing these students as a little preemptive ass kissing, but it might have been too little, too late. Think of the Coneaupa inspection process as an audit. Sound familiar?

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

School Held Today Despite Calls By Teachers For A March

Schools & Education
Mirna De Crespo - Deputy Minister of Education
Mirna De Crespo - Deputy Minister of Education
Classes in different schools in the country have not been suspended due to a march to be conducted by teachers' unions at 4:00 pm on Thursday, reiterated the Deputy Minister of Education Mirna de Crespo. The official made ​​the announcement after the unions parents not to send their children to school because there was no one to care for them. Crespo said on TVN news she considered it dangerous for the teachers not to go to school, because right now they should be conducting quarterly exams. She also questioned some educators for having double standards, because they ask their students not to go to school, while at the same time they show up to work so that their pay is not docked. "There is a double standard, they say don't go, but so that their pay is not docked, they show up to work and teach," said the Deputy Minister. Moreover, the official explained that the Ministry of Education always listens to the teachers' unions, however she made a difference between some of the union leaders and the teachers they are supposed to represent. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: Again, this teachers march is part of the efforts by those who are organizing the new FAD political party to rally their troops. The vast majority of teachers in public schools do not share the radical left-wing politics of their union leaders, so these sorts of marches and movements are always "minority" efforts.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Thursday Is A Regular Day Of Classes, Despite FRENADESO March

Schools & EducationThe Ministry of Education reported on Monday that on Thursday May 24 there will be regular classes in all educational regions of the country, as established by the school calendar 2012, in response to the announcement made by union leader Andrés Rodríguez for educators not to participate in classes in order to participate in a march organized by the FRENADESO at 4:00 pm on that same day. In a statement, the MEDUCA said they respect the right of all sectors to exercise their freedom, in the sense that each one chooses, however it cannot be to the detriment of students. "A school day lost represents a delay and primary education is to provide our students the education service and attention they deserve, so that the teaching-learning process is not interrupted to the detriment of the student population," said MEDUCA. The MEDUCA statement concludes by reminding educators that the interests of some sectors cannot be placed above the interests of our students who deserve to be educated to succeed. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: FRENADESO is part of the effort to organize this new FAD political party. Do you think it's a coincidence that they are organizing a march at the same time the CSS strike is still going on? Of course not. Once again, FRENADESO and Andrés Rodríguez do not represent the majority of all public school teachers in Panama. Rather, they are a minority faction that has their own political motives. All of the elements of the FAD party are extreme left. Not just "left leaning" - they are way out there, left of Stalin...

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Stolen MEDUCA Computers Won't Work - And Security Devices

Schools & EducationPanama's Minister of Education Lucy Molinar thinks some people do not understand that stealing from a school is like stealing from their own children, and that is precisely what happened with the six stolen laptop computers that had been given to students as part of the "Technology For All" program promoted by the Ministry of Education (Meduca). Molinar regretted this Thursday, May 17, that such "irrational" actions occur in Panama, especially because it is a program that benefits young people who want to study, educate and better themselves. "We want to denounce to the country that this effort is being done, but we cannot throw it away," the minister said at a news conference.

Without going into details, the minister explained that those who stole the laptops will not be able to sell them because each is designed with an anti-theft system. "The are disabled and remain as dead," but also, through a monitoring system, they will automatically turn themselves off periodically if they are not taken to schools, she said.

On 11 May Meduca began delivery of the laptops, which is part of the "Technology For All" program. In total, they intend to deliver at least 93 000 laptops to students around the country, to provide support to the students during teaching and learning, according to the Meduca. A total of $27.6 million dollars was allocated for this project.

Warning Issued: Molinar issued a warning, after learning of this theft, because she said "we have to review our values" when these types of offenses are committed. According to the schedule, Meduca will soon deliver the rest of the computers to students in fourth, fifth and sixth year of middle education level in each of the educational regions. However, it still has not been confirmed if the delivery will be suspended.

Meanwhile, Mirta Mosquera, Police Commissioner for Children, said at the press conference that whoever is found with the stolen equipment will "be held responsible." Mosquera said people should not buy this type of equipment from "unscrupulous people". The investigations relevant to this case will continue as required. (Prensa)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks