After a year of debates, complaints and changes, today the creation of UniCABA is taking shape. With the automatic majority granted by its 34 legislators, the party in power will transform into law the university teaching project in the city of Buenos Aires.
The approval, it is hoped, will come amid a hostile climate. Since yesterday, the Legislature of Buenos Aires has been surrounded. It is nearby, teachers wait from Tuesday and during the voting there will be a protest that will bring together students from higher education, secondary, teachers and unions, who even called for a strike for Thursday.
Last Friday was the prelude to today's session. Between fights, insults and aggressions, Vamos Juntos lawmakers signed the opinion to discuss the project on-site. The rejection of much of the educational community is compounded by opposition, who will look for a session tomorrow before the treatment of UniCABA, to discuss other educational projects, but will not get a quorum.
Soledad Acuña, Minister of Education of Buenos Aires, does not consider the total rejection. "I do not like to generalize, what we've heard so far is the voice of those who scream loudly and express themselves violently, I'm not convinced that the educational community is against it. In particular, many students and teachers express themselves in favor of the project, but do not sit in a space to express their position. There is an almost authoritarian attitude of thought, "he said. Infobae.
The initial project, presented on November 22, 2017, was reformulated. In September of this year, the government of Buenos Aires raised a new version of what it called "Law of the educational formation of the educational system and creation of the University of the Independent City of Buenos Aires".
The first project proposed the automatic dissolution of the city's 29 public schools and their transfer to the university. The second version modified this point, the most controversial: now contemplates the coexistence between the tertiaries and the new UniCABA.
However, the rejection of much of the educational community is maintained. "The second project leads to a slower death centered on coexistence, underfunding and control systems of a state that appears as an auditor, "says a statement signed by the CESGE, which groups the rectors of the faculty.
With the approval of the law, the Ministry of Education of Buenos Aires will have the role of regulator of the provision of teacher training. He will be in charge of making the institutional evaluation of each faculty and promoting its self-assessment. Based on this, your employees will review and adapt the career offerings according to the needs observed in the classrooms, "always ensuring the continuity of the students in progress," according to the project.
Maximiliano Ferraro, legislator of Vamos Juntos and chairman of the education commission, said: "The intention is not to close the institutes. The evaluation will produce a result and from there an improvement plan will be proposed between the Ministry and the faculty.. The funny thing is that when we talk about evaluation, we start with the assumption that it will be bad. What if it does them good?
Although teachers mistrust this assessment, they will be asked to provide information. Otherwise, you are warned that you will be fined. They will also be asked to articulate with the university with cycles of complementation, student exchange and research promotion.
2) Ensuring the best teachers?
There is little talk, but it is the heart of the matter. Obviously, this is associated with university education with better teachers, most of the academics questioned. During the debate it was insisted that there is insufficient research to argue that the university system guarantees better teachers compared to the higher level.
In this regard, Acuña said: "There are not many results of teacher evaluations, but if you measure what happens in classrooms, there is a strong reality. All countries in the top 10 of the PISA assessments are university graduates. In Argentina, one of the best performing provinces is La Pampa, whose teachers are mostly university students. I do not say that they are better, but that we have a new institutional design that allows us to have different profiles of teachers. "
From the start The Buenos Aires executive's argument was that of "hierarchizing" educational training. "Train teachers for the new profile of students in the education system," they said. After this goal, 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 social-emotional skills.
3) Attraction of young people
The city of Buenos Aires is an exception. Unlike what happens in the rest of the country, where there is even an overabundance, in the city there are no teachers. The numbers vary, but the figure ranges from 400 to 500 seats, according to official sources. The need led the government of Buenos Aires to launch this year a call to educators from the interior and foreigners; a hitherto unpublished measure.
The wide variety of free university offerings makes the young people of Buenos Aires choose other options, they believe. Part of the project is based on the idea of generating a renewal proposal that attracts children who finish high school who, without aspiration, would see the teaching university with better eyes.
The other recurring criticism of the bill is budgetary. UniCABA is mentioned in the 2019 budget, but does not specify which correspondence corresponds to it. "If there was only one point of the initial proposal that was solid, they said where they got the money. Obviously we do not agree, but before leaving the institutes Now we do not know. In addition to diagnostic criticism, it is a fiscally irresponsible project "Leandro Halperín, legislator of Evolución, told the media.
In the Executive of Buenos Aires they affirm that "the university does not have a budget allocated for 2019 because it would only start operating in 2020". By the deadlines established by the Law of Higher Education, they consider that they will need a year to pass in the accreditation of the Department of University Policies and CONEAU, as well as the organization of the institutional project. Similarly, when it comes into operation, they ensure that "they will not disarm the institutes".
5) Not only teacher training
The reformulation of the project led to the inclusion of other careers in addition to teacher training. Together with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, They work in the detection of vacant areas to offer careers linked to the productive needs of the federal capital.
Once the vote is taken, the institutional project will be outlined. Under his command will be an organizing director – "a woman at best" – who will be nominated by the governmentor Together, they will define academic offerings, operational and personal status. The accreditation process will take a year, but in between the evaluations for teachers will take effect.
Then, like any university, the study house will enjoy academic and institutional autonomy and economic, financial and administrative autonomy.