School catch­ment area rapped for poor plan­ning

Costa Levante News - - NEWS -

By Saman­tha Kett RE­GIONAL ed­u­ca­tion bosses have or­dered an in­land school catch­ment area to 'or­gan­ise their teacher dis­tri­bu­tion bet­ter' amid com­plaints from par­ents about con­stant ro­ta­tion.

The Alto Jú­car schools author­ity, which cov­ers pri­mary stu­dents in three vil­lages from sep­a­rate bor­der­ing dis­tricts – Cortes de Pal­lás (Ay­ora-Cofrentes Val­ley), Mil­lares (Canal de Navar­rés) and Dos Aguas (Hoya de Buñol) – has 10 teach­ers to go round 30 pupils, but none of them are based per­ma­nently any­where.

Par­ents at the school in Cortes have staged a series of protests since term started on Septem­ber 10 be­cause the seven chil­dren in pri­mary and five in in­fants' get a dif­fer­ent teacher prac­ti­cally ev­ery day, sent from the schools in Dos Aguas and Mil­lares.

They sus­pect the aim is to wipe out the classes in Cortes al­to­gether next year, which will force kids to travel some dis­tance ev­ery day.

And in Mil­lares, just one teacher is on hand for all pri­mary pupils, whose ages range from six to 11.

Here, the school was in dan­ger of shut­ting down last year be­cause only two chil­dren were en­rolled.

But thanks to two new fam­i­lies mov­ing into the area, an­other two have joined the pri­mary school this term and three have started in­fants', mean­ing a to­tal of seven – enough to keep the cen­tre open.

PTA mem­bers have been call­ing for the re­gional gov­ern­ment to send more teach­ers.

But de­part­ment head in Va­len­cia Vi­cente Marzà says one teacher per three pupils is plenty enough – what is lack­ing is plan­ning, not staff.

Marzá has sent a schools in­spec­tor to the area and in­structed the catch­ment area to 're­dis­tribute'. A 52-year-old woman died in Va­len­cia on Mon­day morn­ing af­ter be­ing hit while rid­ing her mo­tor­bike. The ac­ci­dent took place at 07.10 on the Avenida Pío XII, right next to one of the en­trances to the city. The au­thor­i­ties and emer­gency ser­vices im­me­di­ately cor­doned off the area, caus­ing lengthy traf­fic jams as they tended to the vic­tims. Emer­gency ser­vice spokes­peo­ple ex­plained that ‘there was a per­son on the ground that was un­con­scious’. They did their best to bring her back, but ul­ti­mately noth­ing could be done to save her life. They also breathal­ysed the male driver of the car, but the test was neg­a­tive and there was no in­di­ca­tion that he was un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs.

Art­work by kids from the Alto Jú­car schools

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