Members of the parliamentary opposition accuse Education Minister Raúl Figueroa of negligence and endangering education workers. A constitutional accusation dealing with his performance during the pandemic is set to be filed soon. Figueroa claimed the move distracts from important work and denied having done anything wrong.
The parliamentary opposition plans to file a constitutional accusation against Education Minister Raúl Figueroa next week. He allegedly violated the constitutional rights to education and life, and ignored international treaties in the pandemic context.
Figueroa has pushed a return to in-person classes even during critical phases. This pressure not only endangered children, but also education workers, according to the accusation.
Several lawmakers from all opposition parties support the move.
News outlet 24Horas reported the lawmakers accuse Figueroa of having violated an article of the ICESCR treaty on international economic, social and cultural rights, and articles of the UN convention on children’s rights (UNCRC). He is also accused of having violated constitutional articles that refer to education, the right to physical and mental integrity, and an article that limits authority even in extraordinary circumstances.
Figueroa “deliberately avoided introducing modifications to face the pandemic, restricting it to the current regulation,” which doesn’t include e-learning, also affecting workers who “have faced as a consequence vulnerability, overload and labor burden,” according to the accusation.
ADN Radio reported Figueroa claimed the accusation would hinder the ministry’s work. “At a time when the whole country needs to focus its time, energy … to protect the well-being of children in the educational system, this accusation means deflecting that time, resources and dedication.”
He denied any wrongdoing.
The accusation can still be changed if the in-person classes context changes.
Javiera is from Santiago de Chile, she is studying journalism at Universidad de Chile, since 2017 and doing her internship at Chile Today.