The councilor Manuela de Armas has indicated that the centers must cover the costs of hygiene items such as toilet paper or hand soap
“Although in good faith, things are being done that are not allowed”. This is how the Minister of Education of the Government of the Canary Islands, Manuela de Armas, has stated about the
educational copays that families with sons and daughters have been denouncing in recent months, after holding a meeting with the Confederation of Federations of Ampas de Canarias, ConfapaCanarias.
For this reason, de Armas has requested the Educational Inspection to carry out the corresponding reports on the economic management of the educational centers of the archipelago. In short, the counselor clarified, they will have the specific task of
"control this matter".
Along these lines, a circular will be issued to the centers "warning that
it is forbidden to ask families for money. That they take it into account and that they do not make that mistake, it is neither justified nor can it be done », added de Armas. In this communication, the Ministry will ask the management teams "to be restrained with the lists of school supplies" and to
look for formulas so that complementary activities are free"or as cheap as possible" because "no male or female student can feel discriminated against because of their economic condition."
The case of toilet paper, among others
Regarding co-payments, the also Minister of Universities, Culture and Sports pointed out, without "no doubt", that the hygiene items that the centers request from families, such as toilet paper, hand soap or napkins, "must be covered by the centers.
In this regard, he explained that the municipalities are responsible for providing these materials in early childhood and primary education centers, while the Ministry in the IES. «They have not informed us that they do not get what they are given; if they ask us or the city councils, we would add more without any problem », he asserted.
For her part, the general director of Centers and Educational Infrastructure, Candelaria González, pointed out that the centers have items for these expenses based on the volume of students and the number of classrooms. Also, that there are extraordinary items that can be requested.
Fees for enrollment in secondary education
On the other hand, Manuela de Armas assured that she will not "consent" that money be demanded from families for enrollment in compulsory education. "It's outrageous, that's inadmissible," she sentenced.
Thus, he assured that he is going to “investigate and find out” what concepts are being charged to families when a bank account deposit is required to be able to formalize enrollment in compulsory education. In any case, the centers that use the “registration envelope” system will be required to specify outside what concepts it includes and that these are protected by law.
Likewise, it will be remembered that all the income received by the centers must be conveniently reflected in their accounts and be accessible to the representatives of the families so that there is due "transparency".
The vice president of ConfapaCanarias, Sergio de la Fe, after narrating the multiple irregularities detected in these educational co-payment formulas in the economic management of the centers, asked the counselor to increase funding and educational investment to make what the Constitution mandates a reality regarding free education. «
Not enough funds are being allocated for the centers to function as they should. They need additional items and annual updates to cover their current expenses », he denounced.
He also insisted that the management teams should be warned that the School Councils cannot approve the demand for contributions, material or economic, and that any request made must be expressed in terms of voluntariness.
The parties called for a new meeting to be held shortly, in person and in Gran Canaria, to analyze in depth the different systems of the complementary school canteen service in centers supported by public funds in the Canary Islands.