The school year will end next June without the students going back to the classrooms, and with the commitment that the majority of the students will pass the course. A non-generalized pass, and with exceptions, depending on the academic performance in the first two evaluations, which is the result of the agreement reached yesterday between the Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Isabel Celaá, and the autonomous councilors of the area in a telematic meeting of the Sectorial Conference of Education. Said agreement maintains the non-classroom teaching activity until June, with the horizon drawn from the beginning of the course, for reasons of health security in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This agreement, with some nuances, satisfies the majority union organizations in teaching in the Canary Islands, as well as the confederation of the associations of parents Confapa-Canarias, regarding the end of classes, teaching on-line and the non-inclusion of a new agenda in the third evaluation.
As reported by the Ministry, Celaá and the education advisers also agreed that the autonomous communities will be allowed to organize or support the carrying out of reinforcement activities in the summer period “in various ways and combined with recreational activities.”
These measures, which affect the Infant, Primary, Secondary and First High School students, also contemplate another front that has as protagonists the Second High School students who have to undergo the university entrance exams, Ebau, whose Exams in the Canary Islands are held in ordinary sessions on July 1, 2 and 3, and the extraordinary, on September 10, 11 and 12. In this case, “content will be adjusted and tests will be made more flexible”, as announced yesterday by the Minister of Education and Universities of the Canary Islands Government, María José Guerra.
This adjustment and flexibility in terms of evaluation and promotion criteria and procedures, will be applied “especially in the terminal stage courses”, according to the Ministry, and which are also extended to vocational training students with reduction of the practical hours and the presentation of a project.
The students in the Canary Islands face the last quarter of the course from home and without implementing content, only with review of subjects already taught and reinforcement. All this, as highlighted by the Ministry, with the general criterion that students will not repeat, except for “justified” exceptions.
“The norm will be for the student to promote,” said María José Guerra yesterday, and without this being a general approval, a term that the unions disagree with. Regarding the third evaluation, the counselor said yesterday that “no student may have a lower grade than that obtained in the second” and that for students who progress adequately, “the third quarter will be of recovery”.
The bet is “to reinforce those contents that are weaker, especially in the students who have had more difficulties, and based on the work that has been carried out in the third quarter, focus on the final grade”, explained yesterday Pedro Crespo, president of ANPE Canary Islands.
“We understand that in this situation it is a good option and you have to adapt logically,” said Crespo. An assertion shared by Emilio Armas, member of the STEC-IC national secretariat and spokesperson for the organization. According to Armas, “taking into account the anomalous situation, I think that the most reasonable and the most just thing has been done: assess the first two quarters, it has been done, and this third one is quite strange and anomalous, and above all that it does not harm to the students, give the option that they can recover what they have suspended now, and that as much as possible that everyone who can promote does so. In fact, what the minister said is that there will be exceptional situations. ” Emilio Armas warns that no one is confused with the approved term, “which is not the same as the student promoting, and doing so would be an unfair measure that does not value the effort of those who had done more in the course.”
With a third quarter of reinforcement and recovery of subjects, Pedro Crespo recalls that the approach in the Canary Islands is that new content is not taught. To do otherwise would compel the educational community to “have the guarantee that everyone had equal access.” The digital divide, which as Emilio Armas of STEC reasons, is a “social divide”. In this sense, the two union representatives value “the great effort that teachers are making”.
According to Pedro Crespo, there are situations such as “that in the same house there are three children who do not have computers or tablets but a mother’s cell phone, and the teacher contacts the mother, talks to the children, sends her some things by wasap, and the involvement of parents is very important, and the teacher adapting to that reality. And of course, proposing this with new content is complex. “
Discarded the option to retake the classroom course due to health restrictions, the teaching activity ends in June with the option of enabling the classrooms for a reinforcement plan, which leads to prolonging the course. “The school calendar is the one that runs until June 30,” emphasizes Crespo, although he clarifies that “another issue is that in this circumstance we would already see if reinforcement measures have to be proposed for some content that has not been given, but this should be in the first term of the next academic year. “
For STEC, the course horizon also ends in June. “Next year we will have to see how a curricular adaptation is made and all that is possible is recovered, and it is not a matter of distressing the students in this situation,” says Emilio Armas. In this context, Pedro Crespo, from ANPE, is committed to “adapting programming and adopting measures, making groups more flexible, increasing the number of teachers who can attend to this diversity of students and not finding another reality.”
Regarding the reinforcement plans in schools in the summer, the STEC understands that it is a measure that “could even be negative and counterproductive for the students who have been confined to their homes for weeks, in addition to an injustice facing the teachers.” “We are going to see how the Ministry proposes it, and from the news we have it seems that it will be on a voluntary basis, and the teaching staff have made an effort to make this happen.” In his opinion, “it will be necessary to assess it when the Ministry calls us and tells us what it wants to do, but as an extension of the course we would not see it.”
In this regard, the president of ANPE, Pedro Crespo, announced yesterday that an urgent meeting with the Ministry has been requested and it is scheduled to be held next Tuesday, April 21 with the General Directorate of Personnel, “an unacceptable date given the uncertainty that has generated this sector table. ” ANPE demands to specify three issues that concern the group: clear instructions for teachers facing this atypical end of the course, school progression and the attention of students with more difficulties.
“It is what we were asking for”
- The president of the Confederation of Federations of Associations of Mothers and Fathers of the Canary Islands (Confapa-Canarias), Josefa Méndez Verdú, yesterday showed its satisfaction with the set of measures agreed in the Education Sector Conference, and agreed between the Ministry and the autonomous communities. “It is what we have been asking for,” exclaimed Méndez regarding the end of the course and that the third evaluation be of reinforcement and recovery. This is, that “the contents will not be increased, that everything that occurred in person will be valued, and the subject of tasks that were not evaluable taking into account that there are children who have not been able to access the media.” The president of Confapa-Canarias wanted to make it clear that “the decision [de cómo se planifica el fin de curso] It is Health, not Education, it is Health that sets the guidelines for us, and we are consistent with this situation, especially that the students were not going to return to the classroom, and we value the fact that reinforcement classes are possible in July, and everything that is favorable to the students and that does not harm them, is good for them. “
As for the decision to encourage the student to promote, as a general rule to pass the course, Méndez assured that “there are students who deserve the pass and others who have to repeat because they do not have the basic contents of the course, and it will be necessary to see Those with pending assignments, the tasks, the effort they have made, are all questions to consider. ” An exceptional situation that “has caught us all at odds, and that has to serve as a learning process, because personally I believe that this does not end here and what we have to do is to shoulder our shoulders and seek positive and viable solutions for all.” D. F. H.