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Another semester with poor school nutrition

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Another semester with poor school nutrition

The current academic semester is about to end and to date the innumerable problems of nutritional deficiency persist in many municipalities of the department of Cesar.
This theme has become repetitive year after year, the first school semester always develops with many difficulties for official schools both in municipalities certified by the Ministry of Education, as is the case of Valledupar, and in those not certified by the Department of Education. Cesar, which are the majority.
It is a cycle of situations that are staged annually in protests, various demonstrations and sometimes even the de facto roads by students who claim what is theirs by right, such as school meals.
Added to this is the component of school transportation, which is generally always contracted and placed at the service of students long after they have started their academic activities, which obliges students and parents to manage somehow to be able to attend classes, children sometimes endanger their physical integrity.
Both components are an obligation of the State, but in both cases, paradoxically, the legal process prevents this service from being provided in a timely manner, that is, because they are legalists in passing, they fail to comply with a constitutional commitment. Months, semesters and even years go by and the problem persists, there has been no way to solve this mess from a regulatory point of view.
The contracting of the School Meals Program, known as the PAE, requires a more agile process, but no, it always has to submit to the rigor of the times demanded by a public tender that, as a rule, must take place between 45 and 60 business days.
It is a vicious circle that always occurs at the beginning of each school year, as EL PILÓN has reported journalistically, in which it is observed how the students accuse the schools, the rectors accuse the Secretary of Education of Cesar and the departmental entity He blames the national government, citing delays in the transfer of resources, among other aspects. Meanwhile, students progress without this essential service, perhaps for this reason the levels of child malnutrition, in school-age children, in this part of the country become very worrying.
For all these reasons, it is urgent that, in terms of contracting school meals, the principle of annuity be reviewed and modified, which establishes that “public administrations must contain the annual forecast of income and expenses corresponding to the current year ”, that prevents this service from being contractually defined in advance so that it starts jointly with the school year.
The truth is that this situation cannot continue, to avoid that at this time of the year there are still problems like the one that is currently occurring in the municipality of Pelaya, just to mention one case.
It is both a budgetary issue and a complex regulatory issue, which is what the local and departmental leaders who will be elected on October 29, as well as the national government itself, must think deeply about. Our students need it.

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