Mayor-elect blasts use of photo radars; Social media creates panic buying of gasoline and gas; Education standards hiked; Tour features rural traditions
Hola, Todos –
De El Mercurio del domingo, 26/2:
Sayausí, tierra fértil para el turismo rural (Sayausí, fertile soil for rural tourism) – If you like the countryside, nature, discovering new places, eating healthily, seeing ornamental plants, and breathing pure air, rural tourism is a good option without having to go very far. 40 families in Sayusí have created 4 tourist routes. Sabores de Mi Saya starts in the alternative medicine center “Sisay Pacha” with a welcoming ceremony. You will visit 77-year-old Amalia Narváez who spins yarn to create her woven ponchos, sashes, hats, and more. Her neighbor, Blanca Quichimbo, is the owner of a garden with some 60 species of plants including fruits, vegetables, legumes, greens, and medicinal plants. Lola Galindo administers the Orquideario Arte Natural and El Jardín Mágico nursery in the Buenos Aires community.
There are over 100 species of orchids as well as more than 50 birds and over 200 succulents. Visitors can feed the birds, and buy plants or order orchids. The tour ends in “HuasyCuy” where you can enjoy <or not, depending on your attitude towards guinea pig as a food> traditional plates of trout or cuy.
Other routes include Arrieros y río Culebrillas and Ruta del Volcán Cabogana which is the longest and most difficult with trails to the Cero de Minas and its extraordinary landscapes and a panoramic view of Cuenca. The cost for each of the 4 routes is from $20 per person. For more information call 095 965 1090, 099 880 9495, or 098 786 6053.
Vuelven trimestres y eliminan exámenes remedial y de gracia (Quarterly reinstatement and elimination of remedial and grace exams) – Reforms to the Ley Orgánica de Educación Intercultural (LOEI – Comprehensive Law on Intercultural Education) went into effect last week. The changes are in the systems for how students are evaluated and promoted. This modifies the goal of education in the country since 2012 which has been to keep students in school. Now the goal seeks quality, requirements, and learning. The previous system to avoid students dropping out, saw students promoted through their 7th year of school with 3 opportunities to finish the year. While this did help with the drop out problem, it did very little to improve the quality of education. When the last PISA tests were done in 2018, only 49% of Ecuadorian students reached a minimal level in reading, and barely 29% of 15 year olds reached the minimum level in math. This was similar to the levels before 2012 prompting authorities to modify the system.
Currently, students who don’t get a grade higher than 7/10 in the whole year take a supplementary course. If they don’t pass that, they take a remedial test in agosto, with a 3d and last chance in septiembre. With the reform, the last 2 chances are eliminated, and if the student doesn’t pass the supplementary course, they lose the year and don’t get promoted to the next grade. The scholastic calendar will be changed so students will be evaluated quarterly, with the goal of knowing how the student is doing in the first 3 months, leaving time to intervene. Also, if the student loses a year and it looks like the kid is going to repeat that, there will be an alert for him/her to get into an intensive system with specialized teachers to catch up with the rest of the class.
“Desinformación” generó filas para comprar el gas (“Disinformation” caused lines to buy gas) – Long lines of people waiting to buy gas were seen el domingo at different spots in the city. That followed long lines of cars waiting at gas stations el sábado. According to Gustavo Toledo, a police official in Azuay, all of it was due to “disinformation” from “cadenas” (chains – your word for the day) of messages on social networks. <An example of how much confidence you can put in information you get from social networks.>
Two people even got into the line for gas at the distributor on Loja y Don Bosco because they saw the line and decided to join it. The owner of the site lamented that fear provoked people into this mass purchasing without calling to find out if there was or wasn’t a shortage. She asked for an extra load of tanks to help her customers. Andrés Wilches, sales manager of Austrogas, said there was no shortage, and the only way a shortage could occur was if the roads were closed which didn’t happen. <But that might happen so I better run out and buy another tank of gas.> He said that customers were speculating on the possibility of a paro (strike) and responded.
Long lines of cars at gas stations on the weekend were also because of presumed shortages of gasoline. Petroecuador EP announced that weather conditions in La Libertad, Santa Elena Province, where gas is unloaded caused delays in the arrival of gas tankers. The announcement said 420,000 gallons of Ecopais was sent to the terminal in Chaullabamba which worked to get the gasoline to the service stations.
Entre las dudas y críticas, radares multan desde hoy (Amid doubts and criticisms, radars start ticketing today) – Starting at midnight hoy (lunes) the first photoradars installed in a contract between EMOV and Movil Technology Eucador started registering infractions. 8 of the dispositivos (devices, gizmos, thingamyjigs, etc. – you get the idea – your bonus word for the day) are along the vía Cuenca-Azogues, and two on the vía Medio Ejido-Sayausí. Exceeding the speed limit will get you a fine of 30% of the basic salary or $135. If the driver exceeds the moderate range of speeding <I think more than 10 kph over the posted limit>, the fine is the basic salary or $450 and 3 days in jail. The mayor-elect, Cristian Zamora, announced he intends to authorize a change in the contract. He asked the cantonal council to remove the current EMOV manager and directed outgoing mayor, Pedro Palacios to not activate the radars. <I think our incoming mayor could be categorized as impatient.>
And that’s all for today so hasta ? –