Cuenca’s streets will be clogged today as parents drop off children to begin a new school year.
About 175,000 students return to class today in the Cuenca canton, according to education officials. More than 270,000 students are expected in the educational region that includes Cuenca in the southeast part of Ecuador.
City transportation officials say that traffic will be especially heavy on the first day of classes and that construction work on the tram as well as road work in several other areas of town will mean that vehicular movement will be slow. “It’s always bad on the first day,” says transportation chief Gerald Fernandez. “It could be even worse for the next few days due to the construction underway across the city.”
The heaviest traffic, Fernandez says, will be in the historic district, where 14 schools are located. “All we can suggest is that drivers be patient,” he says. “The pressure will ease in a few days as daily school routines become established.”
According to regional officials, more than two dozen new public schools will hold their first classes today. Officials said that 3,149 teachers will begin the school year in Azuay, Cañar and Morona Santiago Provinces, an increase of almost 15% from the 2014 – 2015 school year.