Nosara students are left without going to classes due to lack of transfer scholarships from MEP

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On March 14, Hazel Hernandez walked to the bus station in La Esperanza to wait for public transportation that had taken her to Bocas de Nosara school since she started school. When she arrived, the driver explained it to her and other students Since that day I have had to charge them daily 1000, because “the school no longer has the money” to take them for free. On that day, Hazel did not go to school. I had no money to pay him.

Since 2019, the Ministry of Education (MEP) has changed the scholarship selection process and imposed a series of restrictions that drastically reduced the number of recipients. Among them, Hazel is in eighth place.

Since her family has a motorcycle—which another member of her family uses for work—the MEP assumes that the student has the means to get to class, although this is not the case. even so, The owner of the road allowed him to travel without paying for nearly two years, as he compensated those expenses with young people who received scholarships.

However, this year MEPs suffered a sharp cut in the transport budget, adding to the crisis it has already experienced since 2019. Although the foundation requested 46,000 million yen for the item, the presidency only asked MEPs 30,000 million yen. Through the law of the regular and extraordinary budget of the Republic.

Although MEP asserts that the cuts affected transfer grants at the national level, The effects are more severe in places like NosaraLong distances and road problems increase prices and make it impossible for students to use alternative routes to get to classes.

The path went from carrying 73 babies in 2019, to the fact that this year the budget was enough for only 54 babies.

The cuts mean that the student transfer program does not have enough funds in the budget even to meet commitments already made in previous years, William Salazar Sanchez, head of student transportation for the Mediterranean Education Programme, told No Beat.

Since then, the Ministry has been unable to accept new scholarship applications and has not been able to renew applications for other scholarships. Hazel, for example, cannot appeal again for this advantage, because at this time there is no budget for more students.

In view of the significant decrease in their income as a result of the decrease in the number of scholarship students, The owner of the student road in Nasara had to start charging the rest of the students without a scholarship and those who stopped receiving it this year, because it was no longer profitable for him. His route now only has 54 minors with scholarships. The other 94 who used the transfer were unable to access the scholarship. This is how it is recorded by a group of organized mothers who spoke with La Voz de Guanacaste. MEP also confirmed the data.

This is unfair to us, because our children already walk nearly three kilometers just to get to the station. It’s tough because in Nosara there are so many single mothers who can’t pay that much, however little he sees,” said Elizabeth Molina, Hazel’s mother.

Long Distance Studies in Nosara منع Prevention

Most of the affected students live in the communities around Nosara, such as Parco Quebrado (20 km), Las Delicias (16 km), Garza (13 km) and La Esperanza (10 km). Due to the long distances, some families decide not to send their children to classes anymore.reported Yennefer Moreno, mother of a family and leader of the Organized Mothers Movement.

Without transportation I don’t see a way to be able to send my kids, they need it. I am a single mother, looking after my mum and a young daughter and cannot work at the moment. “I am concerned that without this help, my children simply will not study,” said Antonia Castrillo, a mother of two students without a scholarship.

Antonia manages to send her two children to classes because a group of foreigners from the community are helping her. However, he does not know if he will be able to continue to do so in the coming months.

During the month of March, moms collected more than 100 signatures from community members asking MEP to reconsider awarding scholarships to the rest of the students in need of a stipend.. The organizing group is also working with development associations in their communities, such as Las Delicias, to search for palliative alternatives while the ministry resolves the situation.

Some students must travel up to 20 kilometers on Route 160 to reach the study centre. Photo: Cesar Arroyo.

“It’s hard to mobilize the kids, most of us are single mothers who earn the minimum wage and are not at home to take them[to school],” Moreno says.

For mothers, the last option is to send their children for walks, because in addition to the long distances they travel, They fear being physically or sexually assaulted or assaulted along the long road.

“I can’t tell my son to go on foot because it takes almost four hours to walk, or to ask for a ride, because something can happen to him,” Moreno adds.

Ofelia Obando, president of the Las Delicias Development Association, lamented, MEP does not care about the safety of Nosara’s children, something that should be an obligation on them.

Although the driver offered them a soft payment method, the mothers still had to collect about 1.8 million yen per month for the 94 students (20,000 per month per person) so that everyone could get to the study center.

The European Parliament warned last year

This was confirmed by the head of student transport at MEP The Foundation has already forecast an increase in the number of students in coastal areas who will need a transportation stipend for the first timeThis is mainly due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. However, he deplored that the Presidency did not take this factor into consideration when granting them the regular budget.

Salazar, the representative of the European Parliament “Salazar” said:

In September 2021, Education Minister Gisele Cruz He explained to the representatives of the Treasury Affairs Authority what or what The cuts proposed by the government will result in the suspension of scholarships for transportation and food for more than 100,000 students nationwide. However, lawmakers approved the cuts as suggested by the executive branch.

At the time, President Carlos Alvarado justified the decision as “something to be done”. This was expressed when asked about the reduction of MEP in food and transport During a press conference in September:

Outside of government, this is the situation of the country. Any movement in the budget means to take something away from one person, to give something to another person. (…) It is very painful, but tell me where to cut? “

MEP handles an extraordinary budget

Salazar said that MEP is taking steps to request an extraordinary budget that will cover the transportation needs of scholarship students and new applicants. This request is already being processed in the legislature and will need more time to get a response.

In addition, a representative of MEP confirmed that they are updating their databases to include, no later than April 29, current records of program beneficiaries that continue at each education center, as well as applicants for 2022.

this wayThe Ministry will have a broader view of all students currently in need of the scholarship. The school of Bocas de Nosara has not yet sent its updated databases.

These administration periods mean that Nosara students will not be able to use transportation to go to classes for the next few weeks. For this reason, mums accept donations through the Sinpe Company.

Mothers accept donations so they can send their children to school. Sinpe phone can be made at: +506 8625 8475. Reason should be: “Nosara Students”.

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