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DESTRUCCIÓN NO IMPIDE EDUCACIÓN EN ESCUELA

Allí está el olor a viejo. El deterioro. Los huecos en paredes y techos. El rastro de la destrucción. Las huellas de todo lo que los años han hurtado condenando al olvido a la escuela fiscal mixta Enrique Gil Gilbert Nº 151. Sin embargo, también están inmensamente presentes esas voces pequeñas, esas risas escondidas y disimuladas, aquellas miradas huidizas en ojos marcados por la pobreza. La ridícula y absurda sensación de desolación que acompaña cada gesto de esos niños de piel pobre, pero ricos en educación. Ricos, a pesar de tanta adversidad.

Están las mesas de madera gastada, los pupitres viejos, las bancas despintadas sobre algo que seguramente alguna vez fue el piso, limpio, pero con huecos por doquier en unos casos, y madera tambaleante, carcomida y envejecida en otros. Sí. La escuela donde se educan casi 400 chicos, ubicada en la 20 entre Callejón Parra y Oriente (1), está vieja. “En estado de vetustez” como puede leerse en la boleta de notificación de la comisaría octava municipal de construcciones, en la cual se pide la demolición de la edificación principal, que tiene tres plantas, una baja y dos altas.

El director, José Salazar Sánchez, no lo niega. Todo está socavado, las vigas tambalean, algunos maderos se encuentran en el aire, los pisos no sirven, el tumbado es un abandono, no hay agua.

La tristeza está más allá de las palabras. Puede verse reflejada en hechos como que la escuela no tenga ni siquiera un letrero donde se lea su nombre, por eso quizá pasa desapercibida, ignorada y abandonada por muchos. La historia pisoteando las razones de las personas que trabajan educando a gente sin ventajas. Los profesores lo saben. Zulema Chiriguayo enseña en el 4º básico A. Ha pasado 16 años compartiendo sus conocimientos en condiciones adversas. “Los padres tienen miedo, nosotros estamos de valientes”, dice. Aquí muy bien podría caber la frase, “todo por los niños”. El centro de enseñanza funciona desde 1973.

En esos tiempos pagaban alquiler. Ahora, el Ministerio de Educación y Cultura es el propietario del terreno que donó el Municipio de Guayaquil, según escritura pública del 20 de abril de 1999.

Fuimos por todas las aulas, observando la realidad inocultable. Por remedos de escaleras donde los niños bailan una danza peligrosa en cada escalón, comprobando que la verdad hiere en forma de miseria. “En todo el 2003 el Estado no ha puesto un centavo”. José Salazar lo dice sin revanchas, pero su voz está salpicada de ironía. ¿Y en el 2004? “Todavía esperamos”, responde.

Fuera, en el pequeño patio, la vida florece en el cálido bullicio de los niños. Imposible nombrarlos a todos como ellos lo solicitaron, pero una forma de que se reconozcan es atreverse con unos cuantos. Ahí están los Nelson, Víctor Manuel, Liliana, Michelle, Yuliana, Francisco, Caroline, Juan, María Elisa, y sus apellidos López, Pacheco, Bonilla, Yela, Delgado, Preciado, Pichucho, Caicedo. Nada extraordinario, únicamente nombres de personas que pueblan esta ciudad.

Entre todos ellos, Gabriel Rueda, 14 años y recién en 7º básico. Su profesor John Lindao dice que es un chico rechazado de otras escuelas. Tiene demasiada edad para este curso. Nada importa. José Salazar lo define como un trofeo para la escuela donde todos son bien recibidos. El relato da para más. En el 2003 la cuota del comité de padres de familia fue 5 dólares. En el 2004 subió a 8. Un solo pago al año, con el agravante de que algunos únicamente abonan una parte. La idea es muy clara: no se les puede exigir más ya que muchos niños pertenecen a familias donde los padres no tienen empleos, otros viven con algún familiar, y algunos son retirados porque tienen que trabajar.

La situación económica es mala, pero la pedagógica es buena. Lo sabe Zoila Suárez, que ya tiene siete años como maestra de preescolar. También lo sabe Marjorie Ramírez, educadora de 3º básico B y sus 25 alumnos. Y, por supuesto, Carmen Mora, quien ha entregado 18 años a esta labor de enseñar a los chicos de 4º básico B. Su frase lo define todo: “siempre esperando que la situación de la escuela mejore”. Otra de las maestras es Fanny Peso Poveda, quien lleva 29 años compartiendo con aquellos rostros que parecen repetirse. Ella está en la escuela desde cuando las calles eran fango. Alguna vez estuvieron bien y ahora todo está viejo, sostiene.

María Elisa Caicedo, de 9 años, también parece entender la situación. Ella nos reconoce de cuando fuimos por La Barraca, donde vive junto a otros chicos que se educan en esta escuela. Desde su banca en el 4º básico A mira con ojos contentos, mueve su mano y se despide.


1 Suburbio Oeste de Guayaquil

Foto – recreación: elpais.com


Serie: Las Sombras de la Ciudad

Nota publicada en Diario El Universo, el domingo 30 de mayo de 2004 y parte del libro Crónicas de Ecuador escondido de Francisco Santana, publicado en mayo de 2013

 

 

 

Acerca de Aurelio Paredes

Periodista de Profesión (Licenciado en Comunicación Social, graduado en la Universidad de Guayaquil), ecuatoriano de nacimiento, 59 años de edad y 37 años de experiencia. Empezó en 1982 como reportero radial y escaló posiciones hasta llegar a ser Editor de Deportes de Diario El Universo de Guayaquil, considerado el matutino de mayor circulación en Ecuador; Director de Revista Estadio (Deportiva) y Editor de Revista Vistazo (Política y Actualidad); presentador de televisión en varios programas deportivos; columnista de deportes y páginas humorísticas bajo el seudónimo de Delado; y guionista empírico en algunos programas de la televisión ecuatoriana. En la función pública fue Director de Comunicación de la Procuraduría General del Estado y en la empresa privada, Director de la Federación Deportiva Nacional del Ecuador.

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