Nicaragua's new gov't to enforce free education 2006-12-06 10:21:32

    MANAGUA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The new government of Daniel Ortega, who will take power as president on Jan. 10 in Nicaragua, will introduce free education in the country, said Miguel De Castilla from Ortega's Sandinista National Liberation Front on Tuesday.

    "The first thing that the Ortega government will implement is the elimination of so-called voluntary contributions," De Castilla, an educationalist, told media at a joint press conference with outgoing Education Minister Miguel Angel Garcia.

    De Castilla called on head teachers to stop asking parents for money, saying that "education is not a piece of merchandise to be bought and sold. It is a right for Nicaragua's poor and we are making sure our Constitution will be observed."

    In 1993, Nicaragua adopted an education model that forced teachers to make profits. "This has seriously distorted Nicaraguan teachers' roles and the education system," he said.

    Ortega, 60, a Cold War era foe of the United States, led the country in 1979 after toppling military dictator Anastasio Somoza. He won the presidency in 1984 but lost the next election and left power in 1990.

Editor: Liu Dan
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