New school year in Nicaragua kicks off with virtual event

Managua, Jan 23 (EFE).- Nicaragua’s 2023 school year kicked off on Monday with a virtual show that authorities say was witnessed by 1.8 million students nationwide.

The event was live-streamed by the official press and their social media sites to all of Nicaragua’s more than 10,000 schools, according to the Education Ministry, which organized the web-based gathering.

Nicaragua’s presidential adviser on educational matters, Salvador Vanegas, rang the opening bell of the new school year alongside members of student organizations with close ties to the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), the socialist political party that has been in power in Nicaragua since 2007.

“We’ve been working all these years to do away with the poverty they’ve imposed on us,” the official, whose country is one of the three poorest in the Americas, said in a speech during the event. “They’ve bequeathed to us different inhumane models of wealth concentration that denied us the right to an education,”

“We’re closer every day to … making this victory over poverty a reality,” he added.

During the event, students, teachers, parents and educational officials expressed thanks to the country’s president, Daniel Ortega, and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.

“Commander Daniel, comrade Rosario, we’re here: the youth, the students, the teachers, and all the Nicaraguan people are present here,” a representative of the Federation of Secondary Students said on behalf of all the students of Nicaragua.

The applause received by Ortega and Murillo during the event, however, stood in contrast to concerns expressed by parents via unofficial media or on social media about the cost of the so-called “school backpack,” which includes students’ bags or backpacks, notebooks, pencils, uniforms, schools and other necessary items.

The combined price of those items has climbed to around $69, or roughly one third of the average minimum salary of $192.45.

Vanegas said Nicaragua is developing an “educational model oriented toward comprehensive training, toward full human development.”

Among those attending the virtual event were ambassadors and representatives from Abkhazia, Chile, China, Cuba, the European Union, France, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Russia, South Korea and Switzerland, according to the Education Ministry’s list.

Also present were delegates from different United Nations and World Bank agencies. EFE


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