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Monday, September 01 2014 @ 05:04 PM EDT

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West Coast University of Panama Called Into Question

Schools & EducationThrough a brochure, the West Coast University of Panama is launching a four-day diploma course in Senior Management of Corporate Security at a price of $1,490 dollars. However, the National Council of University Assessment and Accreditation (CONEAUPA) said the West Coast University de Panamá is not reflected in their records. According to the CONEAUPA there are 36 universities that have been legally established, with curricula that have been endorsed by the University of Panama - and the West Coast University of Panama is not among them. The West Coast University of Panama is also not reflected in the records of the Ministry of Education.

Even so, the university continues to promote the diploma, scheduled from 17 to 20 August 2012 in a local hotel, and the cost must be paid through a deposit to a bank account. They do not allow the possibility that interested parties can appear in person to the physical address of the university.

Confirm That The University is Clandestine - Marianna McPherson, the Executive Secretary of CONEAUPA, said they have known about the case of the West Coast University of Panama for several months, and confirmed that the entity is not authorized to operate. According to McPherson, one of the requirements for a house of studies to be able to issue a diploma, bachelor's or master's degree is that it has to be accredited by the CONEAUPA, and this is not the case with the West Coast University of Panama. She said they sent a report to the MEDUCA months ago to notify them of this irregularity.

When asked about the case, the MEDUCA, through its Press Office, said they would summon those who are listed as being responsible for this university to be accountable to the Directorate of Legal Services of the Ministry.

On the website of this supposed university which is organizing the event (www.westcoastuniversity.edu.pa) reports that an Argentine citizen Rodolfo Farrington is responsible for that entity. Farrington is also the President and Co Founder of Securway SA, a consultant for Farringon Advice, and HonestidadLaboral.com.

They Justify the Call: Rodolfo Farrington admitted yesterday that his 'university' has no guarantee from the CONEAUPA or the MEDUCA, but justified the organization of the diploma with the argument that they are doing the relevant procedures in order to obtain accreditation. However, neither the MEDUCA nor the CONEAUPA have any evidence that these procedures are being done.

Farrington does not know how many students have enrolled in the 'diploma' that was scheduled to take place in August. He also said they are "talking" with the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) to sponsor the activity. That's why, said Farrington, they are already using the ATP logo to advertise the event.

Solomon Samah, Minister of the ATP, confirmed yesterday that the entity is not sponsoring the 'diploma' in question, and that the logo of the institution is being used without their consent. Samah said they received a notice of request for sponsorship from the West Coast University of Panama, but it was rejected for not meeting the requirements. "We gave instructions to the Legal Department of the ATP to investigate the case and proceed as provided by law," said the minister. (Siglo)

Editor's Comment: Whoops. Damn, I was going to spend the $9,000 bucks to get my PhD in Martial Arts from the "West Coast University of Panama." Too bad...

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Education Minister Lucy Molinar Will Not Resign - Staying Out Of Politics

Schools & Education
Lucy Molinar - Minister of Education in the Republic of Panama
Lucy Molinar - Minister of Education in the Republic of Panama
Panama's Education Minister Lucy Molinar made it perfectly clear that she would not resign from office, and she said it would be a personal risk to leave them abandoned, because they are not the ones who are screaming, nor are they trying to call attention to themselves in the news media, because they are simply working. Molinar said "there are people who have embarked on very large ventures with us, but the country does not want to recognized them yet." When asked about the annul report issued every year, Molinar said "we have issued a report every year, but what happens is that no one notices." Minister Molinar also reiterated that the cardinal of Honduras, Oscar Andres Rodriguez, said Education should be taken out of politics. The Minister of Education made her remarks to the press at the Sara Sotillo school in Panama Viejo, where the campus was being fumigated by the Ministry of Health. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: Good for you, Lucy. Just keep doing a great job, and stay out of politics. You'll be seen as "boring" for the news media - while you and your crew simply go about doing what needs to be done, improving the public school system in Panama.

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Lucy Molinar Will Be Staying On As The Minister of Education

Schools & Education
Lucy Molinar - Panama's Minister of Education
Lucy Molinar - Panama's Minister of Education
By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Panama's Minister of Education Lucy Molinar said she will continue working in the institution, but gave no further details. Last week a rumor circulated through the various social networks indicating Molinar was thinking about resigning. When she was asked about it, she neither confirmed nor denied the rumors, and simply said she needed to have a conversation with President Ricardo Martinelli. Then, last weekend, her father died. Now she has apparently made up her mind and has decided to stay on as the Minister of Education. In speaking about an upcoming meeting with public school teachers, Molinar said "there is already a team working to set up a meeting with the leadership of the teachers, so I think a definite date for the meeting has been set."

Molinar made her remarks during the launch of a program developed by the Ministry of Education together with the Panama Canal. The program envisages that 36 schools nationwide will receive the knowledge of the history, present and future of the Panama Canal.

Editor's Comment: Good for her. Personally, I'm glad to see she stayed on board. She's about the best thing Martinelli has going right now. And, most importantly, she's making some serious and meaningful improvements to Panama's education system.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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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?

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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.

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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)
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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.

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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...

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"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...

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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?

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