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Uruguay: Secondary school teachers stand in solidarity with students

Given the current health emergency caused by the Covid-19 virus and the subsequent closure of educational institutions, various branches of the Federación Nacional de Profesores de Enseñanza Secundaria de Uruguay (FeNaPES) are engaged in solidarity initiatives.

The move to close all schools throughout the South American country poses many resultant challenges, including the need to provide assistance to students, especially in terms of food, as many schools had been providing this service. In addition, many families are losing their sources of income due to recommended social distancing measures.  
 
As a result, FeNaPES, a member organisation of Education International (EI), is undertaking solidarity actions through its own member organisations, aimed at providing support and collaboration during this difficult situation.  
 
Respective unions in Rivera, Paysandú and Colonia Zona Este were the first to plan meal distributions for their local students. In Liceo de Playa Pascual, on Wednesday the 25th, with the presence of José Olivera and Marcel Slamovitz (union President and Vice President of FeNaPES), teachers launched a community potluck that is set to run three times a week. Colleagues from all over the country are also taking part in similar initiatives that will be launched throughout the week.  
 
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Following the closing of schools, FeNaPES has invited teachers from all around the country “to recommend and share materials for use while classes are not in session”.   
 
“FeNaPES wants to help in any way we can so that students and their families can spend this time of health emergency in the best way possible”, the organisation said on its website.  
 
“We want to make clear that it is impossible to replace student-teacher-classroom interaction, but with a bit of creativity and by using new technologies, we can stay active and keep our critical thinking skills sharp”, says the statement, which includes teachers' suggestions for subjects such as history, music education, biology and mathematics, among others.