Teachers without contracts at the commencement of the new school year in Guatemala

Rudy Giron: AntiguaDailyPhoto.com &emdash; Teachers without contracts in Guatemala

It is both scandalous and sad that while the Guatemalan government is indulging in a melodramatic political charade, dissipating public funds in the process, while many schools throughout the country are commencing the new school year without basic budgets available for pupils’ food and teachers’ contracts.

I broke my heart to hear the principal’s speech about the economic state of this public school in one of the villages with hundreds of students and parents stood in the cold. Basically, on the first day of classes, the teachers don’t have contracts; yet here they are ready to teach. Only two days prior the Guatemalan president gave the state of the country speech where he congratulated his administration for all “the avances.” Obviously, the media and the people of Guatemala knows the truth and the reality of the state of the country. If you know some Spanish, read the article “Segundo informe de gobierno, una invitación a soñar” at Plaza Pública.

© 2014, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Begonia

    I know several maestras in Guatemala and can confirm that this is pretty much standard operating procedure in Guatemala. Administrations come and administrations go, but teachers always get screwed in one way or another, and they frequently have to go for several months without getting paid.

    Last time I visited Guate I commented approvingly about the new standards-based curriculum that the Guatemalan government has been rolling out across the country. But unfortunately that has also, typically, been bungled. Teachers didn’t receive the new curriculum or the textbooks until mid-way through the year, and then were not trained on it.

    But what am I saying…I work for a school district here in the U.S. Here, teachers are maligned as “lazy” and “overcompensated” because they get “3 months of vacation” every year. Government officials here bicker about what should be taught in schools, and issue a set of standards for schools to comply with…only to change those standards 3 years later, after schools and teachers have finally all been trained and are implementing them.

    • Once again Begonia, thanks for sharing your experiences and knowledge regarding the teacher situation here and in the U.S. You really put this issue in perspective.