After a year of debate, claims and changes, the creation of UniCABA takes shape today. With the automatic majority granted by the 34 legislators, the ruling party will change legislation on the university education project in the city of Buenos Aires.
The approval, it is hoped, will arrive in the midst of a hostile climate. Since yesterday the legislative power of Buenos Aires has been fenced. Is that in the neighborhood, teachers are waiting from Tuesday and during the vote there will be a protest that brings tertiary students, secondary schools, teachers and trade unions together, even a strike for Thursday.
Last Friday was the prelude to the session today. Between the struggles, insults and aggressions, the legislators of Vamos Juntos have signed the opinion to discuss the project on the spot. To the rejection of a large part of the educational community is added that of the opposition, who is looking for a session before the treatment of UniCABA to discuss other educational projects, but does not reach a quorum.
Soledad Acuña, Minister of Education of Buenos Aires, does not consider the rejection complete. "I do not like generalization, what we hear here is the voice of those who shout loudly and express themselves violently, I am not convinced that the educational community is against it. In private, many students and teachers speak out for the project, but they do not feel in a space to express their position. There is an almost authoritarian attitude of thinking, "he said Infobae.
The first project, presented on 22 November 2017, has been reformulated. In September of this year, the government in Buenos Aires issued a new version of what they called "Law of educational education of the education system and the establishment of the university of the independent city of Buenos Aires".
The first project proposed the automatic dissolution of the 29 public faculty of the city and its transfer to the university. The second version changed that point, the most controversial: now it is considering coexistence between the tertiary and the new UniCABA.
However, the rejection of a large part of the educational community is maintained. "The second project leads to a slower death with a view to coexistence, the underfunding and control systems of a state appearing as the auditor, "reads a statement signed by the CESGE, which groups the rectors of the teaching staff.
With the approval of the law, the Ministry of Education of Buenos Aires will play a role as supervisor of the teacher training program. He is responsible for carrying out the institutional evaluation of each faculty and for promoting their self-evaluation. On this basis, its officers will assess the range of careers and adapt them to the needs observed in the classrooms, "always ensuring the continuity of the students on course," according to the project.
Maximiliano Ferraro, legislator for Vamos Juntos and chairman of the education committee, said: "It is not the intention to close the institutes. The evaluation yields a result and an improvement plan between the ministry and the teaching staff will be proposed.. The funny thing is that when we talk about evaluation, we start from the assumption that it will be bad. And if it gives them good? "
Although teachers mistrust this evaluation, they have to provide information. Otherwise it is warned that they will have to pay fines. They will also be asked to teach with the university with cycles of complementation, exchange of students and promotion of research.
2) Guarantee of better teachers?
There is little talk, but it is the central point of the matter. No matter how obvious it seems, it is associated with university education with better teachers, questioned most academics. During the debate, it was insisted that there is insufficient research to claim that the university system guarantees better teachers compared to the tertiary level.
In this respect, Acuña said: "There are not many results from teacher evaluations, but if you measure what happens in the classroom, there is a powerful reality. All countries that are in the first 10 places of the PISA evaluations have a university degree. In Argentina one of the provinces with the best performances is La Pampa, whose teachers are mainly university students. I am not saying that they are better, but that we have a new institutional design with which we can have profiles from different teachers ".
From the beginning the leader's argument in Buenos Aires was that of "hierarchizing" the educational formation. "Train teachers for the new profile of students in the education system," they said. After this objective, they ensure that the bet goes through a more "innovative" model, with interdisciplinary work based on projects, incorporation of virtuality, use of technologies and training in socio-emotional skills.
3) Attractiveness of young people
The city of Buenos Aires is an exception. Contrary to what happens in the rest of the country, where there is even an abundance, there are no teachers in the city. The numbers vary, but the number varies from 400 to 500 vacancies, according to official sources. The need led the government of Buenos Aires to launch a call this year for educators from domestic and foreigners; a previously unpublished measure.
The large variety of free university offerings makes young Buenos Aires choose other options, they believe. Part of the project is based on the idea of generating an innovative proposal that attracts children who have completed high school who, in striving, would see the university university with better eyes.
The other recurring criticism of the project is budgetary. UniCABA is mentioned in the 2019 budget, but it does not specify which agreement corresponds. "If only one point of the original proposal was solid, they said where they got the money from, but we did not agree with that, of course, but before we left the institutions, we do not know. In addition to diagnostic criticism, it is a fiscally irresponsible project. "Leandro Halperín, legislator for Evolución, told these media.
They confirm that in the Executive of Buenos Aires "the university has not allocated a budget for 2019 because it would only start in 2020". For the periods laid down in the Higher Education Act, they are of the opinion that they need a year to obtain the accreditation of the University Policy Office and the CONEAU, as well as the organization of the institutional project. Likewise, when it comes into effect, they ensure that "they will not finance the institutions".
5) Not only teacher training
The reformulation of the project meant that, in addition to the training of teachers, the university also includes other careers. Together with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, they work in the detection of vacant areas to offer a career that is linked to the productive needs of the federal capital.
Once the vote has been taken, the institutional project is delineated. Under his care will be an organizing director – "a woman in the best cases" – who will be appointed by the governmento. Together they determine the academic offer, the functioning and the personnel status. The accreditation process lasts for a year, but in the middle the evaluations will become applicable to the teachers.
Then, like any university, the home of studies will enjoy academic and institutional autonomy and economic, financial and administrative autarky.