The Secretary of Education promised to expand the university budget, but did not give details of the increases

The Secretary of Education promised to expand the university budget, but did not give details of the increases
The Secretary of Education promised to expand the university budget, but did not give details of the increases

Carlos Torrendell, Secretary of Education, in the Education Commission of the Chamber of Deputies

He Secretary of Education Carlos Torrendell presented today within the framework of the education commission of the Chamber of Deputies but he avoided giving details about future increases in the budget for teachers and universities.

The national official repeated on more than one occasion that the government of Javier Milei is going through a context of budgetary restriction because it is focused on organization of public accounts.

In response to the proposals of different opposition deputies, Torrendell acknowledged that teacher salaries suffered a “loss in relation to inflation, as has happened throughout the working world.” Along these lines, he highlighted that the Government has called for joint meetings and despite not reaching an agreement it has “granted the increases it could.” “The policy is to continue with that and expand it to gradually improve the salary situation”, he said without detailing deadlines or amounts of future increases.

The Secretary of Education also stated that it is unfair to compare the current allocation of resources with what happened during previous governments because a crisis is being faced and due to the “discovery of debts of $360 billion from the previous administration.”

It is easier to distribute resources in a monetary emission context stronger than in the context of restrictions because we want to clean up the Argentine economy,” he explained and clarified that he was not seeking to polemicize.

Torrendell stated that it is necessary “change the paradigm” distribution of resources in the direction of “comprehensive efficiency”. At that point, he summarized that the fundamental thing is to try “to resources go to those who have the least and distribute resources so that children effectively learn.”

On this point he also added as an example that during previous governments “there was an increase in the budget and that did not imply an improvement in learning.”

The official did not give details of the funds

Although he acknowledged that the claims of predictability made by the university presidents were logical, Torrendell recalled that last year’s budget was expanded on August 30. “We are expanding the Budget not in the desired way but in the possible way”said after remembering that the operating expenses of the universities received a 70% increase and will receive another 70% over budget next month.

From the opposition they stressed that a 70% increase with an annualized inflation of close to 300% implies in reality “a budget cut in real terms”. They also clarified that operating expenses are around 10% of total expenses, which is mainly made up of salaries.

When asked about the elimination of the Teacher Incentive Fund (FONID), the Secretary of Education simply recalled that it was created in 1998 but “Congress never gave it permanent continuity.” “What needs to be done is to organize the provincial and national economies”he added.

Finally, Torrendell ratified the Government’s commitment to “progressively expand the budget so that the universities continue to function as best as possible, knowing that our focus is on those who have the least and prioritizing good learning.”

After his presentation, Torrendell retired but the proposals of university rectors and leaders in the educational area continued.

Marcelo Melodirector of Clinics Hospital, raised the complex panorama faced by universities and the entities that operate under their orbit. “The Clinics are operating at 30%. We have to face an inflation of 300%, which in medicines is 1000%. You also need to pay for cleaning and security services. The hospital cannot go into a mode of not using the elevators or the heating because there are 400 patients admitted. We are attending only to the ontological, which is infringement and fractures. During the pandemic we received a lot of applause. AND 50% of those same health personnel today are below the poverty line”.

The Education Commission currently has five opposition projects under analysis that aim to guarantee the budget of the universities. Several University rectors demanded that the opposition blocs move forward with the half-sanction of some project that guarantees funds and provides predictability to higher education institutions.

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