Haciendo la cimarra.

 

Cambian los tiempos. Y vaya, de qué manera. Se van quedando eso sí, como la borra al fondo del tonel, esos vicios atávicos que se arrastran de generación en generación y que constituyen una lacra, el marchamo imborrable del modo de ser, del carácter de un pueblo. Hacer novillos, se llamó en España y otros países de habla hispana al acto de omisión, de ausentarse sin motivo, por pereza, del trabajo o de la sala de clase. Antiquísimas en Chile las expresiones: hacer la cimarra o hacer la chancha, ambas significan lo mismo: faltar a clases.
El problema del ausentismo escolar parece no preocupar a las autoridades educacionales. Preocupadas de “blindar” al escolar otorgándoles más derechos que a un señor feudal y esquivando al máximo cargarle la mochila con deberes, no es precisamente en los ámbitos y oficinas de los responsables de la educación pública donde se alarman por las legiones de cimarreros que capean el año curricular a lo largo y ancho de Chile. Alguna vez los periodistas se preocuparon de los cimarreros, novilleros o gandules que estando matriculados no llegan al colegio. (En julio de 1990 el decano de la Prensa nacional hizo un reportaje sobre la cimarra.) Intencionalmente he usado el término legiones. Una legión romana contaba con 4.600 a 6.000 hombres. Y resulta que he quedado corto. En su columna “Costosa inasistencia”, el Sr. Jorge Urzúa (El Mercurio, domingo 10 de abril 2016, A-3) nos informa que en el 2013 se produjeron en Chile 67 millones de días de inasistencia. En el 2014, las inasistencias superaron los 63 millones de días. El Sr. Urzúa saca la cuenta y nos informa, en detalle, cuánto significa en dinero sonante y contante estas cifras siderales de ausentismo escolar.
Ahora bien. ¿Quiénes son los que faltan a clases? Faltan primeramente, aquellos alumnos que por decisión familiar no son enviados a clases. (Hace mucho frío, nos quedamos dormidos, no tenemos plata para el pasaje, no se preparó para la prueba, no alcanzó a leer el libro, etc. etc.) Pudiéramos pensar que las carencias (hogareñas o del establecimiento) son las únicas que pesan a la hora de ir a clases. Viví la experiencia. Llega el apoderado y comunica en Inspectoría: Mis hijos no vendrán a clases la próxima semana. Viajamos a Miami, a Buenos Aires, a Isla de Pascua. A menudo, las ausencias por viajes toman hasta quince días.

 
Faltan al colegio los eternos y multitudinarios perezosos que tienen mil argumentos para quedarse dando vueltas por la plaza, por los centros comerciales, parques, etc., que el mundo es ancho, y que así evitan la clase de educación física, la prueba de inglés, la disertación de lenguaje, más esto o aquello. Después presentarán un justificativo falso o escabullirán la responsabilidad con mil argucias. El chileno es “ingenioso”. Todas esas pormenorizadas cifras que nos entrega el Sr. Urzúa, yo me lo sé por experiencia in situ, pecan de inexactas. Los registros de asistencia en los colegios municipalizados y de muchísimos subvencionados –no es ningún secreto- son tan falsas como las cuentas del Gran Capitán. Peor aún. Lo viví, lo vi, no me pueden tachar de mentiroso. Hay cimarreros y cimarreras que llegan al colegio y “se retiran” después que el profesor o profesora pasa lista. Otros y otras, se fugan a media mañana o media tarde. El problema es grave. El dinero que se pierde a causa de estas cimarras suma millones de dólares. Dinero que, desgraciadamente, sale de nuestros bolsillos. Instrucciones del Ministerio de Educación prohíben devolver a su casa a los atrasados. ¡Viva la impuntualidad! Pero mientras, farisaicamente, se defiende el derecho a llegar atrasado, ninguna sanción existe para el que no asiste a clases. Es más. ¿Cuántas veces esos alumnos que no cubren el porcentaje de asistencia para ser promovidos se acogen a la decisión del Consejo de Profesores y aprueban el año sin más trámites?
Todavía hay otros cimarreros. Lo vi, lo viví, por eso lo cuento. Estos cimarreros son alumnos de liceos y escuelas rurales. Marzo, abril son meses de ausentismo total. Sin exageración. El libro de clases dice –descomunal mentira- asistencia completa. La verdad, cruda y desnuda es que la inasistencia es absoluta. Nadie asistió a clases. Y se recibe subvención por esos cursos cuyos alumnos en marzo y abril siguen de temporeros: vendimiando, cosechando arándanos, manzanas, peras. Lo honesto sería que en esas zonas las clases empezaran más tarde. Pero tampoco es la solución. Llegando octubre, los alumnos abandonan poco a poco las salas. Es necesario ir a trabajar al campo: raleos, arreglo de parronales, riegos, etc. Y otra vez se falsea la asistencia. Otra vez la trampa. Ante este tipo de cimarras, cuya causa es la necesidad de trabajar para subsistir, ni los ediles, ni los expertos en educación, ni los supervisores, ni los profesores (hablo aquí de docentes directivos) hacen ni dicen nada. Para esos alumnos que van a clases entre mayo y septiembre, no existirá jamás una educación de calidad. Sin embargo, ellos están al lado, codeándose casi, con alumnos que asisten a excelentes colegios, los mismos que dan pie para que los “expertos” hablen con rimbombante discurso, de “la brecha” de la educación.

 
Sin lugar a duda, las cimarras más perversas, porque lo son, son aquellas que alcahuetean los apoderados y las que cada angelito inventa cada vez que el pecado capital de la pereza lo coge entre sus tentáculos. Pereza, llave de pobreza, reza el refrán. Aquí están los Ni-Ni que nos invaden. Ni estudian, ni trabajan. Caldo de cultivo para la delincuencia. La culpa no es de ellos. Nuestra sociedad, nuestra familia, han renunciado al deber ineludible de educar. Y con todos los privilegios y prerrogativas que se han tornado ley para convertir al niño en un déspota, en un intocable, la escuela tampoco educa. Durante décadas se advirtió a los profesores que no permitieran el laisser faire, el dejar hacer. Hoy el dejar hacer, dejar pasar es ley. Desgraciadamente.

 
Un Estado permisivista no ve o no quiere ver el daño moral y económico que significa el ausentismo escolar. Se incurre en conductas contradictorias. Se ignora el problema de la inasistencia a clases. Debió ser allá por el año 1991, que se nos citó (a Directores y Jefes de UTP) a una reunión muy sui géneris. Se trataba de una reunión a nivel regional. El expositor empezó proyectando en la pantalla, los resultados del último año escolar. Colegio por colegio entregó número total de alumnos, alumnos promovidos, alumnos repitientes y porcentajes. Porcentajes por comunas, por niveles, etc. Hasta ahí, el tema se prestaba para que ciertos directores se sintieran molestos, se daban promedios de notas comparados, o se hinchaban de orgullo. Pero, in cauda venenum, (en la cola el veneno, dice el alacrán) toda esa farándula de guarismos tenía un solo objetivo. El Ministerio de Educación, en forma perentoria, pedía a los colegios subvencionados que evitaran por todos los medios posibles que un alumno repitiera curso. El lema, en lo sucesivo era: No a la repitencia. Resultaba claro, caía de maduro, que como educadores nos preguntáramos: ¿cómo promover de curso al que no sabe? El Ministerio no estaba en absoluto preocupado de los porros que irían pasando de curso en curso sin dominar las materias. Las cuentas eran otras y aparecieron en la pantalla. Un alumno de E. Básica que repite, le cuesta al Estado un millón de pesos. Un alumno repitiente de E. Media, tantos millones y uno de Enseñanza Técnico-profesional tantos. Había que evitar esa sangría. Las incongruencias de siempre. ¿Qué expectativas tenían esos alumnos promovidos nadando en su ignorancia cuando rindieran la P.A.A. (hoy PSU)? Y suponiendo que les fuera bien ¿qué posibilidades tenían de mantenerse en la Universidad? Tengo entendido que este tema de la repitencia sigue en pie. Soy bastante viejo para recordar que uno de los más ardorosos defensores de la Escuela Nacional Unificada (ENU) nos decía: “Si hay que colocar notas, pongamos notas. Pero pongamos buenas notas”. Mucho antes de la invención de la ENU me habían enseñado: Las notas se ganan. Son el sueldo del alumno. Por eso ni el profesor debe regalar notas ni el alumno robarlas que eso hace cuando copia o pide que la “soplen”. El absurdo sigue en pie. No a la repitencia y que viva el ausentismo.

 
Me queda una duda. Ahora que ya la “obra gruesa” (esto me suena a Nicanor Parra) de la gratuidad de la educación va viento en popa, según dicen, todas esas legiones de estudiantes chilenos que disfrutarán del beneficio ¿gozarán también del derecho a ir a clases cuando les dé la real gana o se les exigirá un porcentaje decente de asistencia? Y si, ingenuamente creyendo que se exigirá asistir a clases ¿qué organismo, cómo, con qué atribuciones se logrará la seguridad del cumplimiento esperado? Porque si la certeza de los porcentajes de asistencia de toda esa gente que estudiará gratis es tan fidedigna como los cómputos de asistencia de tantos colegios subvencionados que todos bien conocemos, entonces, una vez más se estará echando la plata en un saco roto. Y lo peor. La cacareada calidad no la veremos. Es hora que dejemos de ser Sudamérica. Zapatero a tus zapatos. Estudiante a tus libros y a tus clases, que ya lo decía S. Pablo: “El que no quiera trabajar, que no coma”.

 

 
Mario Noceti Zerega

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