Wednesday, July 6

20 kilometers of travel every day to go to a public institute in Madrid

The last period of enrollment in public schools and institutes in the Community of Madrid has left students without a place in their municipality. In Rivas, to the east, the Ministry of Education sends the boys and girls to the place where they finished Primary Education even if they already reside there or have requested it. 22 minors stayed in no man’s land in Getafe, to the south. There was no space in public institutes for them due to a planning error and they will end up opening a classroom to educate them all together in the same institute, as confirmed by the affected families to

The regional government assures, to questions of this means, that they will find fit for all in their locality for the next course. “This is not a legal obligation but a criterion that the Community of Madrid has been applying since it received the powers in educational matters,” says a spokesman. However, unions warn that this does not happen in practice. “And it is not an isolated event. More than desirable cases have a place in another town,” says Isabel Galvín, the head of Education for the Madrid Workers’ Commissions.

According to a union report, 10,400 male and female students of all levels do not have a place in their district (in the case of the capital) or in their locality after the first award in early June. The highest volume occurs in Secondary and Baccalaureate. In some cases, Education offers charter schools. The fine print of their commitment is to award a place in a center “supported with public funds.”

4% of the students who will start Secondary Education in September still do not have a final destination, according to data provided by the Ministry. “Imagine the level of stress we are subjected to. My daughter is worried because she does not yet know where the course is going to start,” says Marta. His daughter has been granted a place to start Secondary Education in Coslada -where she finished Primary-, almost 20 kilometers from her current residence, despite the fact that she has a “high school 50 meters from home and another 500”. When he presented the claim, the administration suggested that he could enroll the girl in a private school in Rivas or in another that has classes in barracks.

Yolanda Ortiz, another mother, tells something similar. When he divorced, he left San Fernando de Henares and moved to Rivas. His daughter finished the cycle there so as not to change schools in the last year. With the move to the institute, there is no place for her in the municipality despite the fact that her brother studies at a public institute in the town. The one awarded, despite not appearing on the list of chosen centers, is in San Fernando. Going from one town to another takes at least 50 minutes by public transport; 20 by car.

“He would have to go live with his father. We have been managing until now but with the idea that this course would start here,” says Ortiz, who complains about the “lack of planning.” “I have collided with the problem head-on. How can it be that there are no places, they have not bothered to see how the population has increased and it should have been foreseen,” he adds.

Construction delays

It is not the first course that these situations occur. The Community of Madrid has dragged overcrowding problems in the classrooms for years -in the centers the lines are extended until they are left without a library or psychomotor room- because the construction of new infrastructures is slow and in many cases it gets stuck with the phased model , consisting of lifting the center in parts while there are already students. In 2016, there were already families in Madrid that had the same problem as now. Carolina told this outlet that she had not found a place for her daughter in the district where they lived, Fuencarral-El Pardo.

“We are in groundhog day. In Rivas the population has risen year after year and only the CEIPSO La Luna has been done. And it is half built, it is the chronicle of an announced death. The unique area, the possibility of choosing center, it doesn’t work here “, regrets Javier Tabares, member of the Educational Emergency Platform. A year ago, families and residents of the municipality organized to create an organization that would press for the construction of new public centers to be faster and adjusted to the needs of the population. “They do the public service so bad that people demand other things,” adds Tabares. The Ministry of Education defends that planning “is based on demographic forecasts and population data provided by municipalities.”

But it is an endemic evil. Especially for new urban developments, neighborhoods full of urbanizations but with significant lack of services. By the time the Community of Madrid finishes building a school or institute, another one is needed due to the increase in the population of child age. Fernando resides in Montecarmelo and has four children. Two of them are leaving school this year and will have to study in a ghost institute, without building (IES de Montecarmelo), to which another secondary school located in another neighborhood (IES Dámaso Alonso) is going to lend the classrooms.

Then there are the specific problems, the bad planning that takes the nerves out of the families. 22 boys and girls have been left hanging in Getafe. Until this Friday they did not have a school place in any institute in the municipality. “They have not done well the accounts of the registered students and the system that manages the award did not have institutes available,” explains Silvia, from one of the affected families. For the institute that asked for her daughter in the first option, there were 191 applicants and only 120 places. Later they expanded them to 149. “We had no luck with the draw and we were staying out of the lists of each of the centers,” he says. The solution that Education has anticipated is to open a classroom to group the 22 forgotten students in it. “At least they have given us a choice. It was not what I would have wanted or chosen, but it is something,” says the mother, finally breathing relieved.

Silvia’s case has an added problem: the student comes from a non-bilingual school, the Mariana Pineda, and only the bilinguals have attached an institute in the area to avoid that the students have to cut their learning model. “The system is perverted, there are first and second grade students,” he laments.

The Community of Madrid allows the “freedom of choice” of school since 2013, the so-called single area that allows choosing the preferred public or concerted school without spatial limits by eliminating the old “schooling zones”. The Ministry of Education publishes each year that 90% of families have been able to choose their children’s educational center, but in some areas there is no possibility of guaranteeing it.

Several studies also conclude that they exercise their right to select middle-class and educated family nuclei to a much greater extent. And they warn of the consequences of this educational policy: school segregation. To this is added another factor without which the ecosystem of education in the region cannot be understood: the governments of the PP have favored – with greater or lesser fervor – the expansion of concerted education in the last two decades, even outside the region. the law.