School catchment area rapped for poor planning
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