Some 300 schoolchildren have been the first to inaugurate the new school in Alhendín. The municipality, one of the ones that has grown the most in these years thanks to the mobilization of the capital’s population towards the belt, only had one school that had been overcrowded for years. The need for spaces made the municipality raise the urgency from a new school twenty years ago. The thing has gone slowly, but it has arrived.
The new school stands out for its brightness, open spaces, cheerful colors and cleanliness. “The other is collapsed,” explains Ana, mother of two of the center’s new students and member of Ampa. She explains that the municipality “has grown a lot.” Her daughters “were looking forward to coming.” They change schools, but not classmates. Some are from CEIP Sagrado Corazón, the only one so far in Alhendín. Others are known to live in the area.
Mary of the Well She is one of the teachers who make up the staff that now cares for 300 children. She anticipates that the next course will be more. This teacher, who was previously at CEIP Sagrado Corazón, teaches 4-year-olds and this year she will have 18 schoolchildren in her colorful class. Despite having 23 years of teaching experience, she admits that “always, the first day, we don’t sleep much” and that she keeps pinching herself to start the routine. A total of 79,971 schoolchildren join the classrooms in the second cycle of Infant, Primary and Special Education. In many of the centers, a staggered entry has been chosen, a reduced day to facilitate adaptation after a long summer. Tuesday will be the first real day, with 100% of the educational machinery up and running. There are about 13,000 teachers who have also started a course this year, 554 more than last year, according to data given by the Territorial Delegation of the Ministry of Educational Development and Vocational Training.
In the dining room of the Alhendín school, everything is planned to serve the 135 users who have signed up. It has 160 stalls. There is also activity in the gym, in the hallways, and in the classrooms. Juanma Moreno, the president of the Board, is in charge of officiating in this impeccable center the official start of the course. He is accompanied on his visit by the councilor Patricia del Pozo and the mayor of the municipality, Francisco Rodríguez.
“A very important person is coming to see you”, tells one of the teachers to her class, the 5-year-old. Despite her age, someone already knows what the thing is about. The president is coming. “Do you know his name?”, Challenges the teacher. “Juanma Moreno”, answers another creature. They agree to receive the Andalusian chief executive with a “hello president” and applause. There are two rehearsals and the third time’s the charm. Moreno sits in one of the tiny chairs in the class. The gesture puts Minister Del Pozo on alert, who takes a step forward in case the stability of the minimum seat plays a trick. There are 25 in the class. Complete.
The mayor of Alhendín, already before the media, is in charge of explaining the stormy history of the center. Rodríguez describes the day as “the most important day in the history of Alhendín”. He thanks the teachers for the effort made in these years of vindication and apologizes to the “more than a thousand children who entered school in prefabricated classrooms and left school in prefabricated classrooms.” The “calvary” had one of its causes in the tremendous increase of the town, which in a few years went from 3,500 residents to 10,500 today.
The school that the municipality had had 20 classrooms, and it was adapted to reach 42 classes. For this, municipal spaces, warehouses or the house of the concierge were occupied. After thanking the families, the teachers and the Andalusian Government for their work so that Alhendín has another school -which was programmed in 2017 and has cost 3.6 million-, Rodríguez announced that the project for the health center and that in a few months the work can begin.
Moreno, for his part, recalled the late Minister of Education and Sports Javier Imbroda and noted that there are 1.8 schoolchildren who start the course this year with “the best news”, a return to normality.
Granada, in addition to this center, inaugurates another in Ogíjares, at a cost of 3.7 million, which makes it possible to relieve the situation that exists in certain towns in the Belt, where population growth has not gone hand in hand with the creation of new infrastructures. This year, in addition, it is expected that progress will be made in the new IES of Maracenaanother long demanded center.
After breaking down the investments in infrastructure and bioclimatization, with more than 570 works for an amount of 150 million throughout Andalusia, the Andalusian president indicated that one of the objectives of this course is to improve the data on early school leaving. He also highlighted the drop in the birth rate, with 15,000 fewer students this year in the community compared to the previous year, and the increase in the workforce, with the maintenance of 80% of the reinforcements that were hired during the pandemic. Thus, he stated that Andalusia has the ratio “lowest average in history”although he admitted that there are areas where problems persist and this limit of 25 students per classroom in Infant and Primary or 30 in ESO is exceeded.
A day without incident
After a well-deserved rest, more than 79,000 schoolchildren returned to the classrooms, plus undergraduate students from the University of Granada, some 45,000. The day, in its first hours, was developed without incidents although it was already possible to perceive a greater circulation in the streets and in the Circunvalación. On Tuesday the classes will have a full schedule after the adaptation of this September 12 and on Thursday the 15th it will be the moment of the institutes. On the 20th, the first day of class is scheduled for special regime teachings.