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Nicaragua’s Schools Test Teacher Loyalty to Ortega

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  • Nicaragua’s Schools Test Teacher Loyalty to Ortega

    The teachers are subject to outside control and forced to follow the Ministry of Education’s orders to increase school attendance, despite the increase in infections and deaths amid education personnel.

    August 29, 2020

    By Cindy Regidor & Keyling T. Romero (Confidencial)

    HAVANA TIMES – The Ortega government is applying a plan to track teacher loyalty through their participation in FSLN party activities. The Sandinista Leadership Committees – the organs for party control at the neighborhood level –, are tasked to implement the plan. They will do so at all schools in coordination with the Ministry of Education.

    In the past orders were carried out to classify teachers according to their level of loyalty to Ortega’s party. The idea was to identify if the teacher opposes the government; they now want to do this again.

    “The first time that they filled out lists was after the civic rebellion that began in April 2018. It included all the people that were working in the school, right up to the security guard. The options were: “hard”, soft”, “yes” or “no”. A “yes” meant that they sympathized with the FSLN; a “no” that they were opposed. The “hard” opponent was the one who refused to participate in party activities. The “soft” opposition sympathizer was the one who wasn’t a Sandinista, but would follow orders and attend the activities,” stated a teacher from Masaya, under the promise of anonymity.

    Officially, the number of teachers that have gotten sick in the schools is unknown. However, five months after the pandemic first arrived in Nicaragua, there are reports of over 46 educators who have died from the virus, according to the independent union “Unidad Sindical Magisterial”.

    Another teacher, who requested not to be identified for fear of losing his job, stated that in Carazo department at least 15 educators have tested positive and been sent to recover at home.