It was announced by the president of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, during his visit to the reopening of a rural school, but without giving further details. Itinerant teachers will recover all of their remuneration for displacement in the region. This is an essential measure to fight against the progressive depopulation of rural areas and that some unions and groups have been demanding since it was cut by the Government of María Dolores de Cospedal almost ten years ago. As of the next school year, these teachers will recover the entire fuel payment for their trips. Specifically, 21 euro cents per kilometer.
Reopening a rural school 49 years later: “Not having a school has sown seeds of family uprooting”
This is a significant issue in the case of Castilla-La Mancha, where there are around 1,500 teachers from the five provinces who, to complete their working hours, must travel to various educational centers, within the so-called Rural Grouped Centers (CRA) . We are talking about educational spaces where there are only two or three classrooms, in a dynamic similar to that of medical offices.
Since 2001, the Community Board paid these teachers for all their trips, regardless of the number that was made. Later, in 2012, Cospedal repealed the so-called Roaming Agreement and eliminated the subscription for the first and last trips. In other words, if a teacher teaches in three towns, only the mobility between their home and the main educational center counts.
This is how it remains today and, according to the unions and groups of Emptied Spain, it is one of the reasons that have led teachers to avoid asking for destinations in rural areas as much as possible. One more factor that has caused depopulation due to the degradation of public services.
One measure among others “under study”
In the Strategy against Depopulation that the Castilian-Manchego Government still has to approve after going through the public information process, the recovery of this measure is already contemplated, but until now it had not been confirmed as such. The general director of Human Resources and Educational Planning of the Board, José Manuel Almeida, has advanced to elDiarioclm.es that the remuneration will be given in its entirety the next school year, after passing through the Sectorial Board and receiving the approval of the unions.
With this, the Executive hopes to favor itinerant teachers and encourage future teachers to request this type of destination. It is still a measure that already existed previously, so, according to Almeida, the regional executive is also studying other measures to fix population, in addition to those already applied such as the reduction of ratios and the recovery of rural schools. They will be aimed at giving stability to the teaching staff of these populations, and especially to the temporary ones. The objective will be to “stabilize” the CRA staff.
At the moment, from the teaching union sphere, CSIF has already celebrated this measure, a “historic claim” by the union towards one of the groups “with the worst working conditions in public education.” From the Executive of Cospedal, they point out, itinerant teachers “have been forced to face all the expenses derived from traveling to the towns where they teach, as well as the maintenance caused on their vehicles.”
“The great forgotten of the educational system”
Antonio Abarca, head of the Education Sector of CSIF de Cuenca, one of the provinces most affected and with the most CRA, underlines the importance of improving the working conditions of these teachers, “who have been the great forgotten of the educational system” and “although we have had to wait almost ten years, better late than never. ”
For its part, coinciding with the announcement of this measure, the ANPE union considers “essential” to renew the educational administration’s commitment to rural schools, which is why it urges the Ministry of Education to reach an agreement that “improves working conditions and economic resources for itinerant teachers and to provide the necessary personal, material and organizational resources that continue to encourage public education to reach all corners of the region ”.
On the 20th anniversary of the Roaming Agreement, he emphasizes that rural teachers are the only officials of the Castilla-La Mancha Community Board who put their private vehicles at the service of the Administration, and carry out their functions in various centers and in different locations. “With the danger that this entails on the road,” he adds, in order to bring public education to all students, including rural areas with difficult access.
For ANPE, it is necessary to “dignify and recognize” the work of these teachers, while improving their working conditions, “which should have an impact on improving the quality of education provided in the educational centers dependent on this community. autonomous ”.