Amarante Baret responds to report on school construction
Carlos Amarante, former Minister of Education.

The former Minister of Education, Carlos Amarante Baret, said that there are certainly schools paralyzed for different reasons, but pointed out that “multiple reasons are presented for this to happen, without having anything to do with waste, irregularities or corruption. They are the additional calls ”.
In a letter sent to the director of elCaribe, he assured that the assertions of the current authorities of the Ministry of Education “are biased by the destructive hatred towards the evident achievements obtained with the investment of 4% in pre-university education.”

Here is the letter:

Distinguished director Nelson Rodríguez:
In the edition of the newspaper El Caribe on October 12 of this year, the following headline appears: “They denounce 40% of new schools are abandoned or have not started.”

The journalistic review reports that it is an investigation made by the Declassified program led by the journalist Addis Burgos, in which the versions of different officials about the current status of the National School Building Plan (PNEE) were exposed. In this regard, I allow myself to make the following comments:

I regret that the distinguished journalist Addis Burgos did not contact us to hear our opinion on the subject discussed. I would have gladly conveyed our position to you on the matter indicated.

The assertions of the current authorities of the Ministry of Education are biased by the destructive hatred towards the obvious achievements obtained with the investment of 4% in pre-university education.

A few weeks ago, that same ministry leaked an irresponsible complaint to a newspaper with national circulation talking about an alleged embezzlement committed by the efforts of the past government, regarding the advances delivered to the winning contractors of works raffles and that have not yet started. , being evidenced that there was no such embezzlement. As it turned out, it was only the express will to do harm.

The report provided by the MINERD to the journalist Burgos speaks of 751 schools completed, 85 pending payment (we imagine they are completed), 78 awaiting approval from the ministry and 19 exhaust internal processes, that is, the same audit of works raised to harm, which reflects is that 933 schools should already be finished if the lack of will and bureaucracy did not prevail in the current management of the Ministry of Education.

It is true that there are schools paralyzed for different reasons, which are never explained by the current authorities. Situations of a technical-legal nature arise at the time of starting a construction that prevent its start, such as conflicts between land owners, between heirs, etc. They know.

In the PNEE there were many cases where the originally budgeted work ended up being higher in cost. Multiple reasons are presented for this to happen, without having anything to do with waste, irregularities or corruption. They are the additional calls.

Reason for the additions in school construction: THE NEW PARTIES. This condition generated the vast majority of increases in the cost of School Buildings, since at the time of the draw, only the sector to be impacted from the educational point of view was known and not the exact location for the building, which depended on the identification and acquisition of the land, whose conditions will add the best possible for the construction of the aforementioned center.

In particular, having identified the land, three situations appeared that caused increases in the final cost of the work, basically depending on the following characteristics:

LOCATION: in some of the cases the land identified did not have access facilities (paved road and sidewalks and safe containers for pedestrians), electricity and drinking water, so it was necessary to create the necessary conditions to solve these aspects.

TOPOGRAPHY: this condition could generate important additions such as: earthworks (cutting and filling), retaining walls, channeling of surface water, perimeter fence, etc.

SOIL QUALITY: sometimes, the results of the soil study, preliminary at the beginning of construction, showed conditions of the same that impacted the original structural design, being necessary the corresponding changes in the foundation of the building, (footing system, improvement of soil, driving of piles, reduction of floors by modules, etc.).

To this last condition was added, in some cases, the geotechnical conditions presented by the existence of areas of high seismic risk, which caused significant structural reinforcement or a reduction in the number of levels to be built.

Mr. Director, the National School Building Program (PNEE) was executed without political prejudice, with the participation of hundreds of engineering professionals without being asked which political party they belonged to, an example of what I affirm is the current director of the PNEE, Eng. Arturo García, who won the El Cacique Basic School in Monte Plata. It is a beautiful, inclusive program, with its flaws, but never with actions that can be syndicated as alien to the laws, good customs and the ethical and moral values ​​that we profess.
Thanking you in advance, it remains up to you,

Sincerely,
Carlos Amarante Baret
Former Minister of Education (2013-2016) l

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