The Commission made 13 recommendations to the Ministry of Education to correct the problem. Today, a meeting is foreseen with the portfolio, which has already announced that it will receive all the suggestions.
In four years there have been 2,673 cases of sexual violence in the education system. The second report on the investigation of cases of sexual abuse in the education system, prepared by the Aampetra Legislative Commission, showed weaknesses at the administrative level. This is assured by two of its members. Assemblywoman and vice president of the Commission, Norma Vallejo, in an interview with Teleradio explained that the document was divided into three areas.
In the first one they reviewed and knew the cases of sexual abuse; in the second, the political control, and in the third, the regulations. On March 15, the second part of the report was presented to the Commission, where the appearances of the ministers and officials related to the subject were analyzed.
Franklin Samaniego, who is also a member of the Aampetra Commission, acknowledged the existence of protocols and procedures that have been implemented in the education system. However, one of the shortcomings detected is the lack of audit and control, in addition to interinstitutional coordination, which has been a complex problem. “It was suggested that the units where there were cases of sexual abuse are subject to control to avoid recurrence, but this has not been implemented in its entirety and therefore it has not been possible to obtain the necessary feedback.”
Samaniego said that the second report will be sent to the Ministry of Education in order to implement the recommendations, which will allow taking the necessary corrective measures so that there are no more cases of sexual violence within a school. “If the Minister of Education does not accept them, we can initiate a political trial against him.
Today the Commission plans to meet with the owner of the portfolio. “The document establishes 13 suggestions to the Education portfolio, another to the Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES) and two to the Office of the Comptroller General of the State. One of the recommendations -said Samaniego- that up to the present date has not been implemented is to have a database where the cases of sexual violence are recorded in order to have updated information.
The objective of this is to prevent and accompany the processes. Yesterday the Minister of Education, Fander Falconí, spoke out and showed his support for the Aampetra Commission.
He also invited the public to read the document that is public and promised that they will immediately welcome each of the points raised. “Many of these recommendations we have already worked on in the normative, disciplinary and preventive fields”. For Falconí, the report validates the path initiated by the Ministry of Education (MinEduc) to identify, banish and punish all types of violence against children and adolescents. Likewise, he acknowledged that complaints have existed within his period.
“We have registered 2,673 cases in the education system between 2014 and March 2018. Of these, 1,532 are located within the education system and the rest outside.” He also revealed that they went back to review the educational summaries that were filed or slightly sanctioned with an equivalent to 10% of the minimum wage, “which is unacceptable because it is sexual crimes.”
Cases in the Prosecutor’s Office
Marcelo Jaramillo, legal advisor of the Ministry of Education, explained that meetings have been held with authorities of the State Attorney General’s Office and other officials. “The 256 cases were formally presented to the Office of the Prosecutor that were filed at the time or disciplinary measures were issued that did not correspond, according to the law.
Some of these are closing the investigative phase and will enter to the instruction and formulation of charges so that then there is the trial hearing and the sentence is given. We are awaiting the opinions of the prosecutors. “For Jaramillo, the policy they have adopted to strengthen the departments of Student Counseling (DECE) and district conflict resolution boards has been positive. “We have an increase of 120% of administrative summaries in relation to 2016 so that these types of infractions do not remain in impunity.”
Precisely, in the Aampetra report an evaluation of the administrative and political management of the last three ministers of Education is made: Augusto Espinosa, Freddy Peñafiel and Fander Falconí. According to Samaniego, the fundamental thing is that no more cases occur again. “All this analysis must serve so that the current Minister makes the corresponding decisions”. Assemblywoman Vallejo indicated that the responsibilities go in two directions: that of the operative personnel who had knowledge of the complaints and did not go to the judicial part; and that of the appointing authority when it failed to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of public policies in favor of children and adolescents. The report, Vallejo explained, will be sent to the Office of the Prosecutor, the Comptroller’s Office and the Interinstitutional Committee so that it contains contrasted, centralized and non-dispersed data.
For example, the legislator indicated that many cases of sexual abuse that occurred outside the classroom did not appear in the information collected by the authorities. He also indicated that the protocols issued must be controlled: the responsibility of those who had to report cases in the Office of the Prosecutor and merit competitions to hold teaching positions.
“Each authority must assume its responsibility and must account for its actions and omissions. The State must take responsibility for the prevention and eradication of sexual abuse, which will be included in the third report together with a proposal for a law “. Within 15 or 30 days, according to Samaniego, the document that will include the regulations that they submit will be ready.
Amparo Molina, representative of the parents and veedora of the activities of the Aampetra Commission, hopes that the sanctions will be issued to those responsible. “With the reports, justice is being achieved, but we need a comprehensive reparation law for victims that covers all aspects,” said the citizen.
Management from 2013 to 2016
The Commission detected that of the 1,768 schools, 45.5% do not have a Student Counseling Department (DECE) that guarantees the protection and recognition of their rights in the school environment.
34 complaints for sexual crimes were reported in 2014. While 94 in 2015, and 389, in 2016.
The private schools did not implement the tests for the entry of teachers or continuous assessment for teachers of public and private units
Campaign ‘Super parents’ will protect children
Hug them, ask them and keep the, calm is the recommendation that through a video made by parents of the Ministry of Education in conjunction with Unicef Ecuador and the Ecuador Foundation Says No More. It is a new educational material: “‘Super Parents’, advice to protect your children from sexual abuse,” which yesterday the institutions presented at the Ileana Espinel Cedeño educational unit in Guayaquil, within the framework of the’ Now that you see it no more ‘and the program’ More united, more protected ‘.
The audiovisual material is accompanied by a methodological guide and will be disseminated through the Educando en familia program. Among the actions that are advised to take when there is a suspicion of sexual abuse are: listening carefully to the child and never blaming him or judging him; Take him to a medical review and report the case.
In addition to not allowing them to revictimize the child. Chávez, Melanie’s mother, 13, says that when she returns home she asks her daughter how she did at school and what she did during the morning. “I try to keep in touch with her as long as possible. I am a single mother and work as a nurse, but that does not stop me from being aware of what she is doing. “Chavez recalled that on one occasion an older man began to persecute her daughter. “I worried when she told me and I went to put the report.”
Cinthia Coello, who is also a single mother, expressed her concern about having to leave her two daughters, 5 and 8 years old, alone. “Sometimes because of my work I have to leave them with the neighbor, but I have taught them that nobody has to touch them.” The ‘Super Parents’ initiative has as ambassadors the presenters Andrés Guschmer and Diana León. They explained to the audience that the family plays a key role in the prevention of sexual abuse. “This is built daily, generating bonds of trust between parents or caregivers and children.” (I)