Spain – Salesian schools start lessons with enthusiasm and in compliance with safety measures

11 September 2020

(ANS - Madrid) - In the first days of September, the classrooms and courtyards of the 136 Salesian schools throughout Spain are again filled with over 95,000 students, plus thousands more teachers and staff members. The Salesian centers have made an effort to apply the indications of the authorities and to guarantee a safe return to school. But this alone is not enough.

Aware that, in addition to the safety protocols indicated, it is necessary to accompany the emotional world of children, young people and their families, at the beginning of the month a virtual meeting was organized for more than 400 teachers of infant and elementary education, who were trained in emotional education.

In many cases, the summer holidays have almost faded between the end of the last school year and the beginning of the current one. "We have never disconnected," assures Rosa Erro, a teacher at the Salesian institute in Pamplona. "Since the first days of the new school year weren't enough, we put together a team in the summer and adapted some measures."

For his part, José Antón, from the Elche institute, explains that "since July we have adapted the protocols to the various drafts published by the authorities. It was an ongoing job, but we did it with enthusiasm and with the final goal in mind: that children can come to school feeling accompanied and safe."

"We are preparing a plan of psychological attention to our beneficiaries and also to the care of the courtyard," confirms Fr Santiago Domínguez, Director of the Don Bosco Center in Villamuriel.

The involvement of the faculty at this time is essential for everything to go well. "The teachers are starting this year that is so atypical with enthusiasm, as we all try to give the best of ourselves to our students and their families. We will solve all the problems that arise with goodwill," says Lidia Borniquel, of the Salesians of La Almunia de Doña Godina.

From the very beginning, the Salesian centers have insisted on making students aware of the importance of following preventive measures. "We have prepared a welcome day for the whole center, but with a tutor present in the classroom, to focus on the educational aspects, prevention and collaboration," the Salesians of Pamplona declare.

In Salesian schools, in addition to the daily measurement of the temperature, the interpersonal distance of 1.5 meters and the use of masks, the appointment of a Coordinator for the management of the Covid-19 emergency is also envisaged, who will monitor compliance with hygiene measures, and will be in direct contact with families and the reference health center.

Although teachers are available to start providing distance learning again in the event of a new lockdown, the importance of face-to-face education is emphasized in Salesian schools. "The gap between those who are most disadvantaged and those who are not will widen more if we work from home," adds Prof. Erro. "Digitization is good up to a point. We educate through who we are, not through screens," confirms Fr Domínguez.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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