Gemma Quinn / 2006-09-18 16:09:53
Across the Alicante province over 1,500 Infant and Primary age children did not attend classes last week, as term started after the summer break, due to the lack of classrooms or being unable to register, the Vega Baja comarca being the worst affected. A protest by 300 parents and children was held outside the Miguel Hernandez school in Orihuela on Monday and Tuesday to demand more space and there were many more schools in the region affected.
The Parents Association (AMPA) of the Colegio Virgen del Pilar in Los Montesinos, featured in last week's Leader, took their protest to Alicante this week. On Tuesday they travelled to the Education Authority where they stood at the entrance with placards for the third time. The protests were backed, and indeed called for, by the mayor, José Manuel Sánchez.
Parents at the IES No.5 school in Torrevieja have described the situation as "chaotic" because new students are still not able to register and those who are continuing from last year cannot renew their registration. There are some 400 students affected by the lack of a public administrator or a porter to carry out these tasks.
The school itself was created with prefab classrooms without officially being announced in the Diary of the Generalitat Valenciana (DOGV). IES No.5 was created last year as a subsidiary of the Las Lagunas IES, which carried out administration for them. In addition to this, the installation of the extra classrooms needed for the new school year has not yet been carried out.
Parents believe that the vacant posts cannot be filled until the school is officially noted in the DOGV.
Last week as well as highlighting concerns and problems with the local schools, we were also with a number of excited and nervous pupils who were starting their first day in a Spanish school. They eagerly kept a diary for us of their first week and here we find out how they got on.
Laura Hill, 12, and her 10 year-old brother started at Mar Azul School.
Day 1 (Monday September 11th )
"I felt really nervous this morning, I didn't want my breakfast. Laura, my sister, still has another day at home before she starts school, she's dead lucky.
When I went in to the class it was ok because I wasn't the only new person and everyone was nice.
Break was the best bit because I could play football.
My teachers name is Michaela. It's funny calling the teacher by her first name but I think it's really cool. We were given our class work and homework timetable today but we are not getting any homework until next week. Yeah!"
"I still feel a bit nervous but I am also excited we are still getting to know about the school and lessons but all classwork starts properly tomorrow."
"Design and technology was well good! We are going to make a shelter. I like Spanish as well, I learnt to say donde vivo (which means where do you live) I can't wait until I can speak Spanish properly, I think its really cool."
"It was cold, dark and raining this morning when we set out for school, it was just like being in Manchester. I put my long trousers on today it was that cold. But I had another great day because it was games and we played cricket."
"My favourite day because the weekend is here. I had a really good day. Today I was put in my house point group and I am in Ravensclaw just like in Harry Potter, but I was glad when I got home.
I love it here in Spain and school is alright."
Day 1 (Tuesday September 12th)
"I was scared this morning even though Philip had told me that his first day in school was ok. My form teacher is called Esmeralda and there are 19 people in my class.
We went through the school rules.
The best part was not having any homework so when I got home I went swimming, but when we settle in we could have 2 or 3 subjects of homework a night."
"My alarm clock went off at 7.30am and it felt like the middle of the night. I just wanted to roll over and go back to sleep.
My mum makes a packed lunch for me and I think about her when I am having my sandwich. We played basketball in games and I had Spanish today. When I wrote the date at the top of my page it too up the whole line (Miercoles trece de Septembre de dos mil seis) I had to learn the verb 'to be' for homework."
"Science as good, we had to think about foods that we like and dislike. My number one like is gammon and my number one dislike is fish.
The weather was horrible today, when my mum picked me up from school she told me it had been hail stoning where she had been - she went shopping in Murcia but took the wrong road home and ended up in Cartagena. The first thing she did when we got home was put a map in her car and her friend gave her a compass!"
"Hooray it's Friday!
After my first week at Mar Azul I have to say I like my new school. I have met a new friend called Kiana who is really nice. I am glad it's the weekend and we can go to the beach and spend time with my dogs Abbie and Lili."
"We are going to send a copy of the Leader to our Granddad who is in hospital in England, we hope it will make him feel better.
Thanks to the 'Leader' for following our first week at our new school."
6 year-old Hannah started at Villamartin's El Limonar school last Monday. Here is her diary which mainly revolves around what she ate!
Day 1 (Monday September 11th)
"I was really excited to be starting at my new school. I really like my new teacher Miss Williams. She is really nice. I liked my school dinner. I had pasta with a yummy red sauce. Pork, which was delicious and red cabbage which was horrible, a banana and bread.
I learnt to do joined up writing today. I made a new friend Isla, she is really nice. I had Spanish and played games with colours and dice."
"I liked school today too. I did joined up writing again. I learnt a new song. I am finding school easier than in England. The work isn't as hard, yet! Lunch was delicious again. We had PE today and that was fun."
"I couldn't find any of my pens or pencils today. I thought I had left them in my tray, but they are not there! Mummy is not impressed. I didn't like all my lunch today. We had this horrid cold stuff in a cup (Gazpacho.) The chicken and potatoes were nice, but I hate mushrooms."
"Mummy went to the secretary's office and found my pencil cases there! I did art at school today, I love art so that was good. I enjoyed PE too. Lunch was half nice and half distgusting! I still think my new teacher is fantastic, so Mummy is pleased with that."
"Today the food was yummy, we had salad, chinese rice and an apple. During Spanish immersion today we made masks. I think my first week at El Limonar was fantastic, I think I am really going to like it there."
Six year-old Connor Hislen was also starting at El Limonar school. This is what he had to say about his first week.
"I like Spanish school much better than my other school in Scotland. What I like best is you can eat your snacks and lunch outside.
This week I've learnt some Spanish like colours and stuff. Some of the food was funny - but I liked most of it.
The best thing was reading I liked that best and I've made lots of friends.
It was different to what I expected, the school day is longer than I thought (9am until 4pm)"
Additional reporting by Alex Watkins and Mireille Toddington