Argentina: Secondary school students from Buenos Aires will do compulsory work internships | Society


Students line up to enter a school in Buenos Aires.
Students line up to enter a school in Buenos Aires.Victor R.Caivano (AP)

High school seniors in Buenos Aires will have to work to pass. The mayor of the city, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, announced this Thursday that from 2023 the students will have to carry out compulsory work practices as part of the High school of the future which seeks to “link secondary schools to the world of work.” The initiative has been met with criticism by teacher unions and opposition politicians, who argue that it promotes job insecurity and benefits companies more than anything, which will have free labor.

“We do it because for us the school is the number one priority,” said Rodríguez Larreta in the presentation to the media. During the covid-19 pandemic and in the subsequent electoral campaign for the legislative elections on November 14, education became one of the battlefields between the government of Buenos Aires, in the hands of the center-right coalition Juntos for the Change, and the national Executive, led by the Peronist Alberto Fernández. With his statements this Thursday, Rodríguez Larreta seeks to reinforce the distinctions between the educational model of the city of others.

“New technologies are constantly transforming the job market and require increasing knowledge to achieve professional success. In this context, the incorporation of educational practices in companies and organizations will allow children to graduate mastering new skills that help them to insert themselves better and faster both in the world of work and in higher education, ”the Ministry of Education reported in a subsequent statement. Education of the Argentine capital.

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According to official figures, the plan will reach 29,400 students from 442 public and private schools. Each student must complete 120 hours of lecture in a company or organization in the productive sector, in the management of public, cultural or scientific-academic policies. Their development will take place during school hours and will be included in the evaluation process by the teachers.

For the Buenos Aires government, the objective of compulsory labor practices is to provide tools to students that help them define their work profile. In order to carry out the initiative, they need to have at least 450 project spaces, which is why they have asked companies, NGOs and universities to join it.

The compulsory labor practices are already applied in 91 secondary schools and from 2023 it will be extended to all. In technical schools, for their part, there are professional practices for fifth and sixth year students.

“Educational practices or rather free work for minors in the companies of my friends,” denounced Ofelia Fernández, local deputy of the Peronist Frente de Todos. “The most absurd part of the educational reform begins that in 2017 we rejected student centers, teachers, families and principals,” added the legislator on Twitter.

In 2017, the Buenos Aires government announced the reform of secondary education and a controversy broke out that included the occupation of some secondary schools, such as Carlos Pellegrini, where Fernández was president of the Student Center.

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“The great beneficiaries of this announcement are going to be the companies that are going to have free labor and some other benefit,” the deputy secretary of the Ademys educational union, Jorge Adaro, criticized before local media. “By no means do we understand that the priority has to be insertion in the labor market. The entire reform of the Secondary School of the Future aims at helping children adapt to a precarious labor market, in which specific knowledge is not required, ”said his colleague María Isabel Grau.

The measures announced today anticipate a conflictive school start when schools reopen their doors next February, after the austral summer break.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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