The prolonged drop in the birth rate empties the Canarian schools: enrollment drops by 17% in ten courses

Archive photo of students in a school in the capital of Gran Canaria. / c7

Classes begin on Friday 32,952 students in the second cycle of Infants and 79,006 in Primary, 22,712 less than in 2013

TERESA ARTILES The Gran Canarian palms

Classes begin next Friday in public schools in the Canary Islands, with 22,712 fewer Infant and Primary students than in the 2013-14 academic year,
which represents a fall of 16.8% in ten years.

Provisional data from the Ministry of Education of the enrollment of the course that is already beginning - there is still no concerted and private - show
the impact of the sustained drop in the natalgoad in the last decade in the archipelago, 24.3% between 2011 and 2020.

Made with Flourish

The educational stages of the earliest ages are where the decrease in the number of births and
in ten courses the second cycle of Infant has 8,302 boys and girls less, which represents a 20.1% drop in enrollment. This year 32,952 schoolchildren will attend this stage in public centers in the Canary Islands, according to provisional data from Education, and the drop compared to last year is 3.27%.

AND
n Primary on Friday 79,006 students return to school in public education. There are 14,410 less than in the 2013-14 academic year, which represents a decrease in enrollment of 15.4%. Compared to last year, the fall is 1.45%.

In Canarian schools, boys and girls who were born in 2019 begin their schooling in the second cycle of Infants this year and those who did so in 2011 finish primary school. In this interval of years, the birth rate in the Canary Islands fell by 18.8%. Although the decrease in enrollment is somewhat cushioned by the arrival of foreign students, it is foreseeable that the drop in these stages will accentuate the next courses, since the birth rate has been marking two years
historical lows and accelerating its collapse.

Made with Flourish

Public education welcomes the vast majority of students in the Canary Islands. With data from last year, of the 277,541 Infant, Primary, ESO and Baccalaureate students, 209,515, 75.4%, went to public centers, 50,624, 18.2%, to concerted, and 17,402 to private, on 6 .27%.

More in institutes

where the number of students
continues to increase at the moment, although very little, it is in the institutes. According to provisional data from Education on Monday, September 12, 66,136 ESO students begin their classes in public centers, 566 more than the previous year. Enrollment in these courses has been stable and in ten years the increase has been 1.4%.

In Baccalaureate, the provisional figures speak of an enrollment of 29,619 students in public education. They are 1,672 more than last year, but Education expects the final figure to be lower. Taking as reference the definitive data of the past course,
In this stage, enrollment in public centers has increased by 7.8% compared to 2013-14.

Made with Flourish

Where there has been a significant jump in enrollment is in Vocational Training. This academic year there is not yet a closed number of students, but it is expected to be greater than the 43,806 of the previous academic year (it also includes concerted and private, 5.5% of the total).
Compared to 2013, the increase in enrollment is 16.2%.

Within these teachings, last year 23,970 students were in a higher cycle, compared to 16,491 in an intermediate level and 3,345 in Basic Vocational Training.

Made with Flourish

The Canarian Minister of Education, Manuela Armas, affirms that these teachings "have been positioning themselves" to such an extent that many students take them after completing a university degree. And it highlights the increasing offer of dual FP, which combines training in educational centers and in companies with practical activity.

In the 2022-23 academic year there will be 202 groups with this modality, compared to 122 last year, says Armas, and the number of companies that participate in this learning "are 275 more", a figure that highlights the uniqueness of the economy Canaria, which concentrates most of its activity in the services sector. "It is also important that entrepreneurship has been promoted, with 26 more classrooms," adds the counselor.

uneven fall

Like the birth and population figures, the decline in the number of students in schools is uneven in the archipelago: it has a greater impact on rural areas and in the north and on the islands without a powerful tourism sector. On the other hand, they remain or even increase "in the south," says Minister Armas.

The political leader affirms that the decrease in enrollment is the logical consequence of the decrease in the birth rate and believes
conditions must be favored so that families who want to have children can do soer. From his department, improving work-life balance or ensuring that the centers have complementary services such as canteens or transportation that help families.

First cycle of Infant

It also mentions the opening of the centers for two-year-old students. This year they offer the first cycle of Infant, for the first time,
34 schools. «We started by putting these 34 classrooms where there was nothing or the offer was minimal, and this is the dynamic that we are going to follow, but
the ultimate goal is for two-year schooling to be fully standardized", it states.

However, the counselor rejects that all the schools that are emptied have to incorporate this early educational stage. Armas gives as an example of reconversion of the centers that remain empty the
Guiniguada school, on the Risco de San Nicolás in the capital of Gran Canaria. «At the time it was made for 500 students and now it had ten, five from the neighborhood and five from other areas, and we needed enclave classrooms, because where they were located they were very crowded and did not meet the conditions, and we have put in Guiniguada these Transit classrooms to adult life. There are many different situations and you have to optimize public resources », he maintains.

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