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
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.