The City of Buenos Aires is working on a proposal to extend class time that it will present to the national government. The initiative is part of the measure announced in April by the Minister of Education, Jaime Perzcyk, to extend school hours, although it has some differences.
Perzcyk had expressed the intention that all public primaries in the country add a fifth hour of classes, with 80% financing from the Nation. In recent weeks, the head of the educational portfolio signed agreements with seven provinces that will advance in this direction, which will add an hour to the day.
as he knew Infobae, the Buenos Aires government’s proposal will be different. Initially, the Minister of Education of the City, Soledad Acuña, had slipped that she would use that item of money to strengthen the support classes that work on Saturdays, intended for boys with previous subjects. Nevertheless, the idea now is to move to around 30 primaries from a single day to a full day.
“We are thinking of moving about 30 schools from a single day to a full day. In these schools there is a mandatory extended day for sixth and seventh grade, as in the entire City. It will probably be from next year since we have to carry out a process of raising awareness with families”pointed out from the ministry that leads Acuña.
The City is one of the districts with the largest presence of full-time schools. Of the 465 public elementary schools, 60% have eight hours of class. The 30 schools that would enter this scheme are those that have space in terms of infrastructure to be able to double the day or those that do not have other shifts operating within the same establishment.
“We seek an agreement with the community because in the Capital there are many schools that parents choose specifically for a single day because in the afternoon their children carry out other activities, sports, cultural, language classes,” they added.
Once the details are polished, the City will formalize the proposal to the Nation to find out if they accept the money transfer, although they are optimistic about reaching an agreement. In fact, close to Perzcyk they were also confident that they will be able to sign the agreement.
In principle The Government estimated an investment of 18 billion pesos, but they have already anticipated that it will rise due to high inflation and the reopening of joint teaching schools. With that figure, which will be distributed proportionally among the provinces, they will pay 80% of the salary bonus that teachers will receive for the extra hour and then the financing would be extended for the next five years. The other 20% of the improvement in teachers’ salaries is paid by the jurisdictions.
Advances in the provinces
What at first had a hesitant start, today it is moving forward with more determination. The Government has already signed agreements with seven provinces to start the fifth hour of classes: Tucumán, Chaco, Salta, Catamarca, Entre Ríos, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego. The signing is already scheduled for next week with currentsin what will be the first signing with a district governed by the opposition.
In fact, yesterday Perzcyk was present at the inauguration of the extension of school hours in Tucumán. Already back from the winter holidays, half of Tucuman’s public schools began to implement the measure. At the beginning of the third quarter, on September 12, the remaining half will be added.
“All Argentines and all Argentines agree that girls and boys have to spend more time in school, they have to learn more language and more mathematics and that requires investment like the one we make from the national government. Tucumán was the first province to join this initiative because its Minister of Education and the Chief of Staff of the Nation, Juan Manzur, are the ones who most quickly promoted the proposal we made”, explained Perczyk.
With the extension of the day, they calculate in the Palacio Sarmiento, elementary schools would go from having 720 to 950 hours of class per year -equivalent to 38 more days of class- which would place Argentina among the countries with the largest school presence in the region. That hour will be used to strengthen the core subjects: language and mathematics; hit hard after school closures during the pandemic.