A total of 120 educational centers in Extremadura have notified the General Secretariat of Education this Monday of the adoption of flexible timetable measures due to the heat wave, a phenomenon that also allows schools in Castilla-La Mancha to redefine their teaching activities and thus avoid overexposure of students to high temperatures.

Thus, sources from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Castilla-La Mancha, consulted by Europa Press, have issued a series of recommendations addressed to the management of each of the centers, so that these, based on their “autonomy “, may vary school planning.

Among the recommendations, it stands out to avoid outings and activities in the hottest hours (generally between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.) and even more physical activities such as sports and jobs that require significant physical effort.

For their part, 120 educational centers in Extremadura have adopted ending classes at 12:00 and 12:30, along with other measures such as reducing activities abroad or changing classroom students if necessary.

These 120 schools represent 13.48% of the 890 educational centers in the region, and most of the centers adopting these measures belong to the province of Badajoz, according to sources from the Ministry of Education to Europa Press.

This has been explained by the Secretary General of Education, Francisco Javier Amaya, who has indicated that these measures are expected to be in force until next Wednesday, when temperatures are expected to decrease.

The objective of these measures is “to live with climate change, to live with high temperatures and to protect the members of the educational community, not only the students but also the workers”, highlighted the Secretary General of Education, who has noted that high temperatures “are accelerating over the years.

It should be remembered that the School Calendar includes each academic year, from the 2018-2029 academic year, the adoption of extraordinary measures in exceptional meteorological circumstances, understood as such those that are thus defined according to the criteria established in the National Plan for Prediction and Surveillance of Meteorological Phenomena Adverse (Meteoalerta) and according to the forecast of the corresponding warning bulletins issued by the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet).

Thus, in the event of these exceptional meteorological circumstances, in their geographical area, the directors of public centers, following a favorable report from their corresponding School Council, may agree to carry out activities adapted to the weather situation, which could include, in their case, the reduction of the school day of the students that was established in general.

In addition, the School Councils may establish, at the beginning of the course, the criteria to adapt the day and the teaching activities when the established exceptional weather circumstances occur.

In the event of a reduction in the school day, students will go to the center within said hours, although the possibility is ensured that those whose family requests it may remain in the center until the end of the normally corresponding school activities or not attend. to class during those days, prior communication to the management or ownership. In any case, the schedules and provision of school canteen and transport services will be guaranteed.

The management or ownership of the center must immediately communicate the measures adopted to this General Secretariat of Education and give them adequate publicity, expressly informing of the guarantee of permanence in the center during the entire normal school day of the students whose family request it.

In Andalusia, the Associations of Mothers and Fathers of Students for Public Education (Codapa) believe that making schedules more flexible in heat waves “is not a solution because it violates” the right to Education and “would pose a serious problem” for conciliation , since it is committed to “recovering” the Bioclimatization Law, which “has been in a drawer for two years.”

From Codapa they explain, in statements to Europa Press, that there is a protocol to mitigate the effects of heat approved by the Andalusian Government in 2017 which, in their words, “is a ghost protocol”, since it was approved in that year “by pressure from the educational community, in a situation very similar to the current one, but it has never been applied”. In fact, the management teams “have never received any type of instruction,” they add.

Likewise, they point out that there are some groups in the educational community that have asked the Andalusian Government’s Department of Education and Sports to make schedules more flexible in times of extreme heat, but from Codapa they understand that “it is not a solution because it violates the right to Education and it is not feasible for the thousands of families who cannot pick up their sons and daughters at certain times, for the students who go to the dining room”. That would pose “a serious problem” of work-life balance for families, they specify.

Therefore, from Codapa they are committed to “recovering” the Bioclimatization Law, which “has been in a drawer for two years, since it was approved in 2020.” “Families demand that a budget be provided and the measures included in the law be put into practice, which contemplated the improvement of the thermal and environmental conditions of Andalusian educational centers through bioclimatic techniques and the use of renewable energies,” they state.

In La Rioja, at the moment, schools are not expected to close earlier due to high temperatures. In fact, the autonomous community last year eliminated special days in June and September.

Along the same lines, from the Department of Education, Culture and Sports of the Government of Aragon they specify that they will not advance the school hours, something that will not happen in the centers of Cantabria either, since the heat wave does not affect the region, or in those of Galicia, where the Xunta points out to Europa Press that at the moment there is no alert activated for high temperatures.

From the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training of the Balearic Islands they assure that they do not envisage a possible anticipation of the departure of schools, the same as they point out from the Ministry of Education of Castilla y León, where they do not foresee any change in schedules.

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