Germany and the Netherlands join Denmark and Sweden in closing schools, kindergartens and institutes until January 10 and 19 due to the increase in infections. And it is still surprising that governments continue to close schools when evidence shows that children are less contagious, less infected and suffer less from COVID .
The Ministry of Education believes that Spanish schools have passed the first term “with flying colors.” Only 2% of the classrooms have been closed and the minister assures that it has been the result of the effort, commitment and responsibility of the entire educational community.
Meanwhile, this same week, in the Community of Madrid they confirmed the dismissal of the thousand teachers hired to reinforce covid and we counted that there are more than 3,000 educational centers that do not have high-speed internet, that Spanish students increasingly obtain worse scientific results , or that education is losing its role as a social elevator .
Welcome another Tuesday to this weekly tour of educational news , in which we will also focus on those who continue to fight at the classroom. Thank you for opening the door of your house and sharing this newsletter with whoever may be interested. And if you have any stories we can learn from, you can tell us here .
Instead of sources of contagion, as was feared, schools have functioned as spaces ” for virus detection and pandemic control .” This is the balance of the first quarter made by the Minister of Education, Isabel Celaá. In it he recalls that, of the 380,000 classrooms in Spain, the 2% of confined classrooms have never been exceeded.
Last Friday, for example, the percentage stood at 0.7%. And no week has there been more than 35 schools closed, a figure that represents 0.2% of the total. The ministry believes that prevention measures have worked and the efforts of the educational community have contributed to reducing the incidence.
We can even get some positive readings of these protocols as they had in De Mamás y Papás , because anticovid measures in schools have reduced the cases of bronchiolitis or colds and the incidence of lice in children .
However, this situation also reveals the management of some regions. A few days ago in the Madrid Assembly, the deputies approved a non-law proposal to keep a thousand covid reinforcement teachers hired. “Covid reinforcement teachers are essential. It would be necessary for the work of these teachers to continue.”
This is how forceful the president of the Madrid Directors Association, Esteban Álvarez, was shown in a letter to the deputies.
However, the council has chosen to dismiss them despite the fact that they have been essential to support more than 20,000 students and keep the centers open, replacing the losses that the administration could not cover. And they are fired by the same community thatit transferred 51.2 million more to the one arranged in the last year .
What are we talking about when we talk about education? Ricardo de Querol wondered in his rostrum where he raises how the debate is focusing on concerts, the linguistic issue or religion when there are really transcendent and priority issues to address.
We could talk about the more than 3,000 disconnected schools that do not have high-speed internet and have been waiting for it since the Government promised it in 2015. Or how the scientific gap grows in Spain :
Spanish primary school students drop in Science and increase the difference with the OECD average and stagnate in Mathematics, according to the results of the TIMSS report. We could also focus on how the social gap is perpetuated : 45% of the children of parents with basic studies remain at that educational level, or on how the early school leaving rate in Spain (17.3%) affects seven times more to children from families with lower income.
All of this should concern us because education has ceased to be a social elevator, as the poet, essayist and editor Elena Medel recounts in her basement, semi-basement, ground floor and mezzanine platform .
This concept “means washing of conscience for the attic and illusion to conform those who leave the basement.” Or as the former minister Cristina Garmendia, president of Fundación Cotec, assured, the consequences of this crisis will be decisive: ” The pandemic will leave a delay in school learning .”
But instead of focusing the debate on these issues, we are talking about how to look for shortcuts to not comply with the law in five autonomous communities: Casado announces that the PP communities will advance the registration to circumvent the ‘Celaá law’ .
And of the devastating consequences that all this has for the students and that Javier Marías recounts in his column Didactic scenes of EL PAÍS SEMANAL .
As every week, we stop at the most inspiring ideas that we have counted, such as the San Viator school in Madrid, which has become a solar energy generator with photovoltaic panels on its roof to supply citizens with 100% sustainable energy.
Or the revolt of the schools of Barcelona , where 17 schools have cut traffic last week to ask for fewer cars. And the accolade to chess as an educational tool that the Netflix series Lady’s Gambit has meant