The socioeconomic inequality influences the academic performance of public school students. It is a latent problem in the Archipelago, which is further aggravated if one takes into account that 78% of the child population of the Islands was enrolled in centers of this type over the past year. A percentage higher than the national average (67.8%), which also remains unchanged from the year 2012 / 2013- and is only surpassed by Melilla (83%); Castilla La Mancha (81.8%); Extremadura (80.4%); and Ceuta (79.2%). This is reflected in the report Situation of childhood and family in the Canary Islands, which was published on November 20, after being commissioned by the Ministry of Equality and Social Policies of the Autonomous Government. A document that also reveals that 16% of Canarian students studied last year in a concert center, compared to 6% in private schools.
"The socioeconomic level is related to the geographical environment, social relations, types of households, family economy, and cultural level, and it must be said that in the Canary Islands the unemployment figures are very high compared to the rest of the national territory, which is also affecting middle-class families, so it is necessary for the Government to take action on the matter, "says Silvia Rodríguez, spokesperson for the Trade Union of Teachers of the Canary Islands (STEC). It is precisely these differences that the union member considers to have a direct influence on the student's grades. "A family of good economic position can afford to target their child in private classes to be able to reinforce some subjects, in extracurricular activities, and even, offer a better food education", he emphasizes.
With the purpose of resolving the conflict, Rodríguez advocates that the Canarian Executive work on the development of measures to compensate for these socioeconomic inequalities that affect, above all, children enrolled in public schools. "The first tool should be an improvement in the investment of the budget items that are destined to the educational centers, In fact, in the Archipelago we have been demanding that at least 4% of the budgets be directed to this area in order to comply with the 5% that the Canary Islands Law of Education contemplates for 2020. But the Executive has already said that it will not be able to assume that commitment, "laments the union representative.
However, Rodríguez insists that the only way to address the problem is through effective reforms that promote equal opportunities. "We talked about reducing the ratio of students per classroom, develop measures to address diversity, increase the staff of teachers and material and financial resources."
In addition, it emphasizes that in the Islands there is a "great delay" in the field of reading and in the level of written expression. "But reading comprehension is also a conflict for our students, which is why it is necessary to provide public library centers and develop projects that stimulate the habit of reading in students," the STEC spokesperson said.
Therefore, based on Rodriguez's criteria, the problem of student performance does not lie in the quality of the teaching staff. The issue is more complex. "It is not a question of teachers of private or concerted schools being better than those who exercise their functions in the public." Independently of the need to carry out pedagogical reforms and aware of the conflicts that LOMCE has raised, it is a reality irrefutable that the professors of the public centers are the best professionals, "he emphasizes.
Following this line, a study prepared by the professor of Economics at the University of Barcelona, Álvaro Choi de Mendizábal, entitled Socioeconomic Inequalities and Academic Performance in Spain, states that "at the age of 15 a gap of 82 is observed. PISA points – the equivalent of two years of schooling – among students from households with a higher socioeconomic level and those with a lower level ". A statement seconded by the member of the STEC to say that "this is a reality that is observed in the Canary Islands, but the problem that this represents not only focuses on the boys and girls repeat course, but choose to abandon their studies at ages early. "