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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Governor, education chief inaugurate module school in Guánica

Guánica Mayor Ismael Rodríguez said: “We are on the grounds of the school that collapsed on Jan. 7 (2020) and it means the beginning of the reconstruction of our town.”

By John McPhaul

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, along with Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés, attended the reopening on Monday of the Agripina Seda modular school in Guánica, which collapsed after the January 2020 earthquake.

“This dream came true for all these children who unfortunately did not enjoy face-to-face education for a long time,” the governor said at a press conference. “This facility, although temporary, can be used for a long period of time. It is safe against earthquakes and also designed for times of pandemic. The rooms are very comfortable and pleasant.”

“[The investment] was $7.5 million and the AFI [Infrastructure Financing Authority] was in charge of the building,” he added.

After the earthquakes, the single-level steel and aluminum structure was built to house the students of the Agripina Senda, 173 students, and Aurea Quiles, with around 240 students, intermediate and superior schools, respectively. They will work in interlocking mode.

“It means a step forward and we thank the governor, the legislators and all the personnel who have had a hand in the construction of these modules,” said Guánica Mayor Ismael “Titi” Rodríguez. “We are on the grounds of the school that collapsed on Jan. 7 [2020] and it means the beginning of the reconstruction of our town.”

As explained by the Department of Education’s director of infrastructure, Enrique Questell, a second modular school will be built in Guánica that will house primary school students. Regarding other municipalities affected by the earthquakes, the official noted that “we will have an additional project in Guánica, we have another project in Guayanilla, Peñuelas and Yauco.”

Meanwhile, Ramos Parés expressed confidence that students will continue their vaccination process.

“In terms of teaching, we reached 94 percent of teachers reporting having gotten the third dose, or the so-called booster dose. They are good numbers,” he said. “Even this week in which the students are arriving, we will have the same scenario, but we do not predict major problems in terms of student attendance as a result of the vaccine. We have seen a response, we have seen the vaccination centers in recent weeks.”

Ramos Parés added that at the moment, 40 schools remain in remote learning mode.

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