Nicaraguan teachers celebrated on National Teachers Day

NSCAG News | on: Thursday, 29 July 2021

Over 1.2 million children in Nicaragua receive free school meals

Over 1.2 million children in Nicaragua receive free school meals

On 29 June, Nicaraguan teachers were praised and celebrated on the National Day of Teachers. Since 2007, under the Sandinista-led government, the profile of teaching has been raised through improved training, qualifications and pedagogy, to create a profession that values its vocation and is appreciated by Nicaraguan families.

Yet, behind the success and hope of Nicaragua’s educational progress and its management of Covid-19, lies the dark shadow of a United States government threatening to destroy its fine example.

Millions of dollars are being channelled through NED (National Endowment for Democracy) and USAID (US Agency for International Development) to undermine Nicaragua’s sovereignty, democracy and ambitious social development.

What is the progress the United States is so afraid of? As children and young people the world over have lost many days of education through the Covid pandemic, Nicaragua has kept schools open with almost 90% attendance, thanks to the government’s detailed planning and organisation in the earliest days of the pandemic, and because it already has a well-structured, health-care system with free access to all. As we know, good hygiene education and hand-washing have been vital to curtailing the spread of the virus. We take continued supplies of fresh water for granted, but limited access to clean water is a barrier to learning for millions of children living in poor countries as well as a danger to life. In Nicaragua, the government has provided clean water supplies to even the most remote communities.

Just as we take clean water for granted, we do the same with a continued supply of electricity. As with water, the Nicaraguan government has increased and improved its National Grid to ensure almost 100% coverage of the country. Without electricity there is no technology for learning; with it, Nicaragua has provided televised lessons to support children where schools have closed due to the pandemic. By the end of 2021, all Nicaraguan secondary schools will have a fully equipped computer room for digital learning, including digital libraries.

As teachers know, when children and young people are not in school, they are at risk. Nicaragua’s open schools keep children safe, and as breakfast and a nourishing midday meal are provided free of charge, open schools ensure children are properly fed.

In the words of Nicaragua’s Minister for Educational Asessment, Salvador Vanegas, “Teaching is one of the world’s most noble professions. Teachers are valued in our society as we entrust to them what is most important to us, our children and young people. Teachers develop character, talents and human potential and enable children and young people to value themselves and the world around them. When we admire, recognise and celebrate teachers, we know that each day they care for what is most precious to us.”

Article by Julie Lamin, member of NSCAG's Executive Committee and an active supporter of Nicaraguan teachers' union ANDEN. Julie was also a delegate on the NEU Teacher exchange to Nicaragua in 2017. A video of the exchange can be found here.

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