Three of the four psychologists of the Concentracion Deportiva de Pichincha School, located in the Barrionuevo area, in the south of the capital,received an email notifying their contract termination.
The letter did not contain an explanation of the decision. It Only detailed the documentation they need to receive their settlements.
Even the principal of the school was impressed by the layoffs. Now there is only one psychologist to assist 1,700 students.
It happened at a time (Christmas and New Year) in which psychologists are most needed, according to Isabel Macas, representative of the National Union of Teachers in Pichincha. “In these holidays, drug addiction, the effects of broken homes, teen pregnancy are more visible. The departure of the psychologists affects the quality of education.”
Fabricio Vallejo, deputy undersecretary of the Ministry of Education, clarifies that there are others professionals in schools who are assisting the students. “Let’s not forget that the 100% of the student population does not need support. It is just a part of the population.”
He also explains that administrative officials are governed by the Organic Law of the Public Service. This implies that a contract lasts a year and depending on several factors, the contract is renewed or terminated.
William Valverde, one of the affected psychologists, is surprised that the dismissal happened even after the Ministry announced that the counseling departments would be part of the comprehensive security plan.
“In about 80 educational institutions, the Ministry promotes the installation of surveillance cameras to prevent drug addiction,” recalls Valverde. “But we, the educational psychologists, we know the students who consume drugs and where the drug is sold. Reports have been sent to the authorities and nothing has been done.”