Soledad Acuña, Minister of Education of the City of Buenos Aires, spoke about the “low performance” of students in Buenos Aires schools between 2019 and 2021, according to the first results of evaluations at the primary and secondary levels. Horacio Rodríguez Larreta’s official questioned the national government for the education management in the pandemic and warned: “We we are not going to eliminate the delays as do other provinces”.
“This decline in performance is equivalent to a four year setback regarding what we had been improving,” Acuña explained to Clarion. And he emphasized that “if the problem was the lack of school, the answer is more school”referring to the axis of dispute between Nation and City in full quarantine.
The standardized evaluations FEPBA (Completion of Primary Studies of the City of Buenos Aires) and TESBA (Third year of Secondary Studies of the City of Buenos Aires) were carried out in october 2021 in Buenos Aires establishments, both public and private.
The results were alarming in language learning, especially at the secondary level, with sharp drops compared to the previous evaluation, taken in 2019. In Mathematicsthe average results remained stable, but the percentage of students who did not answer the test increased a lot.
The latest evaluations showed a noticeable decline in language learning. Photo Press Education GCBA.
This Thursday, Acuña distanced himself from the provincial governments and questioned will make the evaluation regime more flexible of students, given the difficulties posed by the closure of classrooms during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We do not go to level downwe are not going to eliminate the postponements or let the boys spend the year without knowing, as other provinces did, “said the Minister of the City.
“Nearly half the country is going to let kids get through the year not knowing. Because it’s easier to kick the problem than to look at it head-on and take charge,” Acuña reviewed, in statements to Clarion. “We, on the other hand, are convinced that the first step in building ffuture is to know the realitylook it in the face and work to improve it”.
He added: “Education does not change with storyit changes with work”.
Soledad Acuña and the evaluations: “At the national level, it could be worse”
In dialogue with other media, Acuña deepened his criticism of the national government for the ssuspension of attendance.
“All this exhibition was not free, there was a cost and the cost was paid by the boys. And it is not true that measures were taken to recover, because we are the only jurisdiction in Argentina that has an extended calendar of 192. We do take extraordinary measures. The President did not generate any policy for this extension of classes to take place,” he said in LN+.
Soledad Acuña, in a public appearance in April 2021. Photo Rolando Andrade Stracuzzi
Regarding the attitude of the rest of the districts, he warned that in some provinces “education is not priority“.
“We have not yet heard of any proposal from any province. Many of the provinces that had closed schools for two years they will not guarantee the minimum 180 days, because they had stoppages, due to infrastructure problems; because education is not a priority,” Acuña added.
It also questioned those jurisdictions for the absence of evaluationsin some cases, and the lack of publicity of results, in others. And he warned about the possible results of national tests: “It can be much worse.”
“In all the national evaluations, in the Learn tests when they were taken up again at the national level, the city I was always the one was better positioned. With which, if in this case we lost, we are convinced that other provinces —which also had fewer days of classes than us, for example, the province of Buenos Aires, which had 45 fewer days of classes than the City— are going to have much worse results,” lamented the Buenos Aires Minister of Education.
Education: what happens in the rest of the provinces
At least eleven districts made the school promotion system more flexible between 2021 and 2022. In the Province of Buenos Aires, the General Directorate of Culture and Education resolved that promotion in secondary school be achieved with up to two pending curricular areas. These curricular areas group between two and three subjects, so that students can pass the year even owing six subjects.
In Formosa, young people can change the year with up to 19 previous subjects: the 13 corresponding to 2020, up to three from previous cycles and another three from 2021.
In the Province of Buenos Aires, the full return to attendance occurred in September 2021. Photo Luciano Thieberger
Santa Cruz, for its part, enables the promotion of all secondary school students, despite the fact that have not approved any matter.
In Santa Fe they promoted automatically all first year students. In the more advanced courses, the number of previous subjects was raised to six (they are grouped by “paths”).
La Pampa, Misiones, Tucumán, San Juan, Catamarca, Entre Ríos and Río Negro also made their promotion regime more flexible.