While many local municipalities made especial efforts to restore some sense of normality to families by quickly reopening schools following the recent storms there are still six colleges in Orihuela that remain closed and to which students are still unable to return.
Five of them are located in the area of El Palmeral, and are the infant and primary schools of ‘Fernando de Loazes’ and ‘Villar Palasí, the Public School of Special Education ‘Antonio Sequeros’, the infant’s school’ El Palmeral ‘and the School of Art and Design where the facilities and furniture have all been seriously affected.
There is also the school ‘Our Lady of Monserrate, in the district of Molins, where water also entered the classrooms, reaching more than a meter in height.
Municipal employees and college staff are working hard as they attempt to restore normalcy, but in the case of the ‘Villar Palasí’ there is an aggravating factor because the building’s electrics have been greatly affected and need to be repaired prior to any thoughts of returning the children to the building.
Water and mud has also caused a great deal of damage to the furniture and as well as a great deal of other educational material that must be replaced by the Department of Education.
Councillor Vicent Marzá, the Valencian Minister for Education, visited one of the centres and said that the furniture will arrive in Orihuela this week. But first it will be necessary to have everything clean which will not be easy to achieve, because in some schools the humidity has left a smell of sewage that will remain for many days.
The ‘Fernando de Loazes school has suffered significant damage, especially in the kitchen and dining room while in the ‘Antonio Sequeros’ school for children with special needs, the lifts have stopped working.
The Orihuela Councillor for Education, Ramón López, explained that “everything possible” is being done to restore normality in the classrooms “which will be completed as soon as possible”, but he apologises and insists that, in one of these schools, “there are serious problems which cannot be solved in a few days”.
In all other schools of the municipality there are some outstanding actions but the courses have been resumed and are relatively back to normal.
The situation of the ‘Villar Palasí’ school is especially bad due to the large amount of educational material that the water and mud have ruined. Teachers at the centre have made an appeal through social networks to request as much help as possible with the donation of toys or any other teaching material.
Educational games, toy vehicles, animals and other dolls, balls, … and in terms of teaching materials, notebooks, pencils, coloured pencils, markers, brushes, rubbers, pencil sharpeners, glue, plasticine, etc. are all requested. Donations can be made at the school itself located at Avenida Doctor García Rogel, nº5 de Orihuela
However the teaching staff say they have little confidence in the response from the administrations involved “but thank and welcome any support that the public want to send us”, because they say they have more trust “in the solidarity of the people, than in the response from politicians”.