Approximately 25% of the country’s teachers have missed 30 days or more of classes since the school year began in February, making them ineligible for special incentive payments to be handed out this month – and the school year isn’t even over yet.
José Lino Rodríguez, Administrative Vice-Minister of Public Education, told the daily La Nación 15,000 of 59,000 teachers won’t receive the incentive given teachers who attend 200 days of school per year. The payment is worth 168% of each teacher’s salary and will be paid Sept. 27.
Last year, 7,000 teachers were ineligible for the payment, with 5,000 missing out in 2004, the daily reported.
The ministry originally planned to pay the incentives in December, since the school year doesn’t end until Dec. 20. Following pressure from teachers’ unions, the government agreed to make the payment in September as planned, but to form a commission of educators to negotiate a twopart payment (half in September, half in December) or a December payment next year.Minister Leonardo Garnier told the daily teachers might lose part of their incentive the following year if they miss days following the Sept. 27 payment.