Hundreds of teachers gathered Thursday in front of Argentina’s Education Ministry to protest plans by the Buenos Aires municipal government to close 14 night schools.
Leaders of the UTE and Ademys unions representing public school employees said that if the decision is not reversed, teachers in the city will stage a strike to coincide with the scheduled resumption of classes in early February.
“The government has the entire month of January” to abandon the school closures, UTE adjunct secretary Guillermo Parodi told EFE.
Friday will mark the start of the vacation period for students.
Ademys general secretary Jorge Adaro said that shutting down night schools constitutes an attack on “the most vulnerable” students, “those who have to work during the day, care for their younger siblings, and go to school at night.”
Opposition members of the municipal assembly called a special session for Thursday to debate the school closures, but ruling-party lawmakers stayed away to deny their adversaries a quorum.
Closing the 14 designated schools would affect more than 1,200 teachers and roughly 3,000 students, according to the UTE.
The city’s mayor, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, said that the night-school curriculum and format needs to be changed and vowed to ensure that all students would have access to education.