By Susan Leach
A BRITISH mother in Albox, and other parents, have said they will not allow their children to go back to the Francisco Fenoy Primary school building in September.
They say it is in such a bad state of repair that it is too dangerous to send their children back there.
Clare Shirley, from Southampton has been in Spain for more than 20 years and her two daughters are pupils at the school. She told the EWN that on June 7, bits of the cornice crumbled and fell due to the earthquake.
“The speed with which the teacher evacuated the children tells me they weren’t comfortable leaving them in the building,” said Shirley.
The following day the parents went to the town hall to protest about the dangerous situation. At the time of going to print, they hadn’t received any positive news from the town hall or education authority.
Other parents, including Isabel Rodriguez, the president of the AMPA parents’ association, are furious that despite promises to rebuild the school, nothing has been done.
They say that the electrical installations are dangerous, the heating doesn’t work, it’s damp and mouldy, their children can’t use the toilets, and the plumbing smells terrible. Rodriguez also said that an architect’s report recently stated that the upper part of the building cannot support more than 80 people.
However, she said, every day there are more than 80 people in the third floor classrooms. She added that the music conservatory once used the school building, but that this came to an end because Albox Town Hall said it didn’t meet minimum safety requirements.
Shirley said that on June 14 there was a meeting with the education delegate but that, “it was a waste of time because as he is leaving the post, he wasn’t interested.” She said that €1.3 had previously been allocated to reform the school, but nobody will tell the parents where that money has gone and why work hasn’t started.
Rodriguez said that they have had countless meetings with authorities and political candidates in previous years, especially in the run-up to elections. She said that the education delegate had promised that building work would start this year.
When the new school year starts on September 10, the 200 pupils will be transferred to the Virgen Saliente School. The two schools, their respective teachers and two headmasters will share the same building.