While the mayor, Emilio Bascuñana, and the Councillor for Education, Begoña Cuartero, were entertaining schoolchildren from 4 Orihuela schools, on a day celebrating ‘The Rights of a Child’, in the warmth and comfort of the City Council Chambers last Wednesday, over 400 children were being turned away from their classrooms on the Orihuela Costa at the CEIP Infant and Junior school because of flooding in the classrooms.
Once again it fell to the schoolteachers and members of the Policia Locale to inform the parents that heavy rains had rendered the school building dangerous and unfit for habitation.
Rainwater was seen to be pouring in through the ceilings and the windows and it was also flooding up through some of the floors. Electricity power points, many at ground level, had water running through them, and as one parent said to the Leader ‘Heaven knows the damage or injuries that could have been caused had the children been allowed to enter school’.
The school, situated in Los Dolses, is a series of prefabricated cabins, many of which are joined together to form larger classrooms. They were first erected in 2002, fourteen years ago, as a temporary measure, but for many years they have been desperately in need of refurbishment and repair.
Only two years ago one of the cabin ceilings fell into the centre onto a class of four year olds. Fortunately there were no injuries but the situation has not improved.
With the children again turned away from the school on Wednesday, not only did they lose another day of their education but many parents also had to miss a day’s work and stay at home.
‘The lack of respect being shown to children on the coast by the current Orihuela Council is appalling’, said one mother. ‘Instead of sitting in their council chambers the mayor and the councillor should have been on the Orihuela Costa last Wednesday seeing the appalling conditions that our children are having to endure’.