Education sucks as ever and will suck even more

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Made in China, just two bucks, so they MUST be great and applauded, says the government

So finally we got a first-hand look at these much talked-about bags the Martinelli government was handing out to pupils unfortunate enough to use the public school system. Turns out Maribel Cuervo was right. These bags are what you'd typically receive as a present when you buy two hamburger combo menus at your local fastfood joint. And they can't carry more than these two Unhappy Meals either, your reporter observed. Most of those bags in use by kids attending a public school in the former Canal Zone were already damaged, seams letting loose, zippers not working. And the rain season hasn't even started yet!

True to form, minister Papadimitriu defended the bags by saying they were so cheap. "Only $2 for each bag, made in China!" he crowed. We suppose that with all this investment grade nonsense, cheapness is now a virtue - which also explains how Papadimitriu, himself a cheap nouveau riche vulgarian, became a minister in the first place. He added, by the way, that if the complaints wouldn't stop there would be no bags at all next year. Education and school utensils, just so you know, are not a right but a favor under the new hand-outs policy of Martinelli's Los Groceros Somos Más.

Meanwhile, classes started as they always do with no changes at all. Some schools were in such a deplorable state that they couldn't be used. Classes were given in the cafeteria in others for lack of furniture or a roof. But hey! The state can get cheaper loans now!

And then there is this minister of education, former anchor woman Lucy Molinar, the Panamanian version of Sarah Palin. She's pushing for what she calls "educational reform" but which in reality is a program to breed cheap labor. Education in arts, history, civics and sports will be cut back so that students only learn what they need to work for all those big foreign investors lured to Panama by this magical investment grade - and stay ignorant about social, political and civic issues, although we seriously wonder if they'll ever reach the levels of ignorance our government continues to display. We wouldn't be surprised if they'd start promoting "educational tourism" as the next big thing.

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