The counselor Jokin Bildarratz reported this Tuesday that the Department of Education has reported to the Public Prosecutor’s Office the situation of a Waldorf Geroa school in the small town of Trocóniz in Alava, located in the municipality of Iruraiz-Gauna but only a few minutes from Vitoria. This denialist center, with about 120 students and which teaches Infant, Primary and Secondary, was warned at the beginning of the academic year for not making the use of masks mandatory in classrooms and has now had to be closed after the appearance of “more than 30 “positive cases of coronavirus.
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“It cannot be that a concerted center, which receives public subsidies, is not complying with the rules,” Bildarratz emphasized at a press conference. According to Education, it is “a case of very difficult management” and in which incidents have occurred since September. If at the beginning of the course he was warned for not complying with the protocols, weeks later there was an internal “complaint” because the sanitary regulations were being violated again and a second warning. The contempt for prevention has resulted in a high number of infections, 36 out of 120 students, according to some sources, and in any case “more than 30”, according to Education. It is unknown if any of the positives have led to a more serious condition in out-of-center infections to patients at higher risk.
In this scenario, the Department of Health has been the one who has given the order to close the center, a very exceptional measure in the Basque Country since the course began and which practically only has a precedent with an institute in Eibar, although for very different reasons. The cases are spread over practically “all” the classrooms and the high close contacts have left no room but to paralyze Waldorf Geroa’s activity in its entirety. Bildarratz has acknowledged that there is no similar case in the Basque Country, since on other occasions there had been complaints for “individual” breaches that had been quickly and “forcefully” addressed.
Education sent the file two weeks ago to the Prosecutor’s Office in case the facts could be constitutive of some type of infraction. Bildarratz has also indicated that the educational inspection has this file on the table. Geroa is a center that follows the Waldorf educational method. It promotes itself by appealing to “excellence” and ensuring that it meets “intellectual, physical and emotional needs in a free and collaborative environment.” It is an education “towards freedom”, according to their website.
Bildarratz, yes, has made a positive balance of the start of the school year in Euskadi despite this incident. He has assured that “what seemed impossible”, which was to maintain presence, has been achieved. It has indicated that there is stability in terms of the number of affected centers, which is around 1%. The latest report reduces that percentage to 0.71% of the 17,554 classrooms in the Basque educational network, which is distributed 50% between the public and the concerted. Specifically, there are positives in 124 groups of 79 schools without counting the special case of Trocóniz. More information on the evolution of the pandemic in Euskadi can be consulted in the interactive special of elDiario.es/Euskadi.
In this sense, the Basque Country has allocated 105.2 million to special needs of the centers motivated by the pandemic, such as replacements, new reinforcements of cleaning, dining room or similar personnel, acquisition of gels and other products or digitization. This Tuesday, in fact, the part corresponding to the concerted has been activated, which amounts to 36.7 million. Bildarratz has ensured that schools, whether public or private, have the same current measures and the same needs.