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Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - News - News@cb­ djones@cb­

By Alex Watkins and Dave Jones THE NEW school year started with hope, nor­mal­ity and protests on the south Costa Blanca.

In Tor­re­vieja the num­ber of pupils is up on last year, with more than 6,300 in pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion and 5,600 in sec­ondary.

Coun­cil­lor for ed­u­ca­tion José Hur­tado noted that for the first time this year the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has two pub­lic ed­u­ca­tional units for two year olds, with 18 places avail­able in each of the pri­mary schools Nues­tra Señora del Rosario and CEIP Ha­baneras. He noted that both fa­cil­i­ties have wait­ing lists.

Sr Hur­tado ex­plained that they are still work­ing on 186 late ap­pli­ca­tions sub­mit­ted for places in Tor­re­vieja schools, a sim­i­lar fig­ure to last year.

He said av­er­age class sizes cur­rently stand at 27 pupils, with the coali­tion coun­cil aim­ing to re­duce this to 25.

The coun­cil­lor added that de­spite the ad­min­is­tra­tive de­lays, they are ‘start­ing to pay’ the first in­stal­ment of Xarxa Lli­bres text­book grant scheme. VIS­ITS to Ye­cla’s wine route have in­creased 20% in the last year.

A to­tal of four winer­ies, an olive mill, four lodg­ings and 24 small busi­ness re­lated to the gas­tron­omy are mem­bers of the wine route as­so­ci­a­tion.

Re­gional coun­cil­lor for tourism Noelia Ar­royo said the route pro­vides ‘an al­ter­na­tive source of tourism for the area which is not linked with the

Green light for new school Work to con­struct a new pri­mary and in­fant school in Guardamar del Se­gura could be­gin be­fore the end of this year, ac­cord­ing to mayor José Luis Sáez.

This will re­place the cur­rent Dama de Guardamar school which is en­tirely made up of pre­fab­ri­cated class­rooms.

The coun­cil has ap­proved a change to the classification of a plot of land in sec­tor SUP-7, near the mouth of the River Se­gura, so that it is specif­i­cally des­ig­nated for ed­u­ca­tional use.

This was one of the fi­nal re­quire­ments of the re­gional ed­u­ca­tion department for the go-ahead, as the project is al­ready drawn up and only the geo-tech­ni­cal study is pend­ing, ex­plained the mayor.

Ed­u­ca­tion coun­cil­lor Pi­lar Gay in­di­cated that if ev­ery­thing goes to sched­ule then the new school will open for the start of the 2018-2019 aca­demic year. It will be built on a 15,265square-me­tre plot on Avenida del Puerto. Project spec­i­fi­ca­tions in­clude a ca­pac­ity of up sum­mer high sea­son'.

Ye­cla is one of the three wine pro­duc­ing ar­eas with its own qual­ity seal in Mur­cia re­gion, along with Bul­las and Ju­milla. Sra Ar­royo noted that wine and gas­tron­omy tourists spend on av­er­age €85 a day, which in­cludes ac­com­mo­da­tion, ac­tiv­i­ties, vis­its to winer­ies and restau­rants – al­most dou­ble the tra­di­tional beach and sun tourists. to 450 pupils in 12 pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion classes and six in­fant classes. The two-storey main build­ing will have an as­sem­bly hall, a kitchen-can­teen, a re­cep­tion, li­brary, lab­o­ra­tory and mu­sic room, amongst oth­ers.

Back to school bat­tle Pupils in the third year at An­to­nio Se­queros pri­mary school in Bene­júzar did not start their classes on Mon­day, when their par­ents staged a protest against the de­ci­sion to cut a teacher’s place.

There are 60 chil­dren in the year and the num­ber of classes has been cut from three to two.

The par­ents ar­gued that all By Dave Jones

A TO­TAL of €100,000 has been set aside to re­form Tor­re­vieja’s his­toric salt dock – the Eras de la Sal (pic­tured) – but the coali­tion coun­cil wants to guar­an­tee that the ‘essence’ of the area is not changed.

Mayor José Manuel Dolón noted that cash has been made avail­able in this year’s bud­get for the project.

He re­minded that two dif­fer­ent the chil­dren at the school aged 7-9 ‘will not get the in­di­vid­ual at­ten­tion they need and so will have prob­lems adapt­ing’.

They said the school does not meet the min­i­mum space re­quire­ments for this many pupils and the sit­u­a­tion will pre­vent the in­tro­duc­tion of new forms of teach­ing, which will af­fect the qual­ity of their ed­u­ca­tion. The par­ents threat­ened to keep their chil­dren out of school in­def­i­nitely if they do not re­ceive an of­fi­cial re­sponse from the ed­u­ca­tion department.

Ac­cord­ing to Com­pro­mís party spokesman, Fed­erico Zaragoza, the re­gional ed­u­ca­tion plans ex­ist from pre­vi­ous coun­cil ad­min­is­tra­tions for the site – and the coali­tion wants to use the best points from both.

Sr Dolón ex­plained that a tech­ni­cal com­mis­sion will be set up in­clud­ing his­to­ri­ans, univer­sity pro­fes­sors, an ar­chi­tect and an en­gi­neer, with the mayor and coun­cil­lor Domingo Soler pro­vid­ing the po­lit­i­cal in­put. They will de­cide on how the project move s for­ward. department said at first there had been two first-year classes and three third-year classes, but af­ter two ex­tra chil­dren joined the first year the school swapped this around.

“The re­quest for a new teacher was not re­ceived un­til Septem­ber 5, and it was the school man­age­ment’s de­ci­sion to re­struc­ture the classes and num­ber of teach­ers,” he said. “The de­lay in re­ceiv­ing this in­for­ma­tion re­sulted in this prob­lem. The ed­u­ca­tion department will set up the class and teacher re­quired to guar­an­tee that the school’s chil­dren have op­ti­mum con­di­tions for learn­ing.”

The most im­por­tant points in­clude the plan to open the sea and salt mu­seum at the en­trance to the com­pound, as well as im­prov­ing the au­di­to­rium area and the van­tage point which reaches out into the har­bour, he noted.

“We want to re­cover this site, with all the guar­an­tees in place,” Sr Dolón stated at a press con­fer­ence this week.

A class­room in Tor­re­vieja

Crush­ing grapes in Ye­cla

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