Costa Rica: Education Unions Call for Food Distribution Following Closure of Schools

published 25 March 2020 updated 26 March 2020

In the wake of Costa Rica's move to close schools, education union ANDE has proposed that food be provided to the most vulnerable families.

Schools in Costa Rica have been closed by government decree to guarantee that social distancing measures are effective. Given the circumstances, ANDE, a member organisation of Education International (EI), has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Education to deliver food packages to the families of students who are normally fed in the school canteens. This would prevent food from being wasted, help low-income families and lessen the social impact of school closures.

Working Together to Maintain Social Distance

In a statement published by ANDE, the union says it seeks to contribute to the success of social distancing measures, both for students and for workers in the education system, whose jobs place their health at risk due to the serious health crisis the country is going through as a result of the spread of COVID-19.

The union has stressed that it supports the implementation of alternative working arrangements so that workers in schools, central offices and regional offices can stay at home.

A Lesson in Solidarity

ANDE has joined others in calling for a collective solution to the crisis caused by the coronavirus: “The great lesson to be learnt from this pandemic is that we cannot overcome it alone; only as a society will we succeed. Now is the time to act in support of the most vulnerable populations who have lost their jobs and those affected by this terrible disease, who must remain isolated with their families”.

The union suggests sharing food, medicine and cleaning products with those who do not have the resources to buy them, offering support to older adults and all people with special needs.

In addition, ANDE urges everyone to respect their social duty not to overload health services and encourages the population to take all recommendations made by Costa Rican health authorities very seriously. In their statement, the union also reaffirms its appreciation for doctors, nurses and other health workers, acknowledging and thanking them for their work.