Back to school (at last!)

Adeje council, through the departments of Education, Works, and Social Services (headed by Adolfo Alonso Ferrera and Esther Rivero Vargas) has been busy during the summer months, and last week the two councillors visited the boroughs’ six public schools to view for themselves the reformation work that has been carried out in each centre.

“With the improvements we are not simply meeting the needs of our education centres, but working to improve student safety in school and upgrading classrooms and recreation zones”, said the councillors.

All of the six primary public schools have been painted, damp treated, tiles and lights replaced.  The work has also seen an improvement in playgrounds, toilets, including better conditions for those students with mobility issues, and where relevant, work on school farms has also been completed.

 

The cost of the work is in the region of €80 thousand and further work is on the cards during the Christmas holidays in December.  The councillors said that being able to schedule work twice a year means the council can attend to school needs in a more efficient manner.

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Commitment to education in Adeje

Plans, including the conversion of the Tijoco Cultural Centre into a temporary secondary school, were detailed at a recent meeting

The Adeje council has injected over two million euros into education materials, schools upgrades, such as the roof for the courts in the Las Torres primary school, the construction of a multi-use pavilion in Armeñime, the conversion of the Tijoco cultural centre into a temporary secondary school for the next academic year, and other improvements in schools in the borough. The education councillor, Adolfo Alonso Ferrera, detailed the work schedule to a recent meeting of school principals.

The councillor said, “if there is one thing that marks Adeje out it is our commitment to education in every sense of the word which means we must and do invest in education when needed. Schools are our primary focus as they are the foundation for a good future for our children. These children have the right to develop in the best possible conditions and with equality of opportunities. I know that at times the bureaucracy of other administrations can impede certain advancements, and we as a council have actually taken on work outside our normal responsibilities as we see our education community as hugely important”.

Also present at the meeting were directors of CaixaBank who have been welcome partners in sponsoring extra-curricular activities for the children as well as offering grants and programme assistance. Pilar Quiroga said their social department “Works to help cover demands for books, school materials and food. Each year we have increased the amount donated, now up to €16.000 because for us everything related to education is fundamental for the development of the person. It is marvellous to be able to help, we want to give back to society that which we have received, and without the implication of the Adeje council this wouldn’t have been possible”.

During the meeting Adolfo Alonso told the principals about the need to adapt the Tijoco cultural centre into a provisional secondary school as the current two secondary schools are already full to the point of collapse. So the cultural centre in Tijoco will be given over to the department of education who will convert rooms in to four classrooms for children who have just finished 6th class in primary school in Tijoco Bajo. “Some parents have voiced their doubts about the proposal, which we understand. For many years the council have advised the secondary schools that they would soon reach full capacity. Today the IES El Galeón has almost twice the number it was assigned for. For quite a while the council has set aside a plot of land to give to the regional department of education to build a third secondary school, a matter we have raised with them time and time again. And of course we also are concerned about the fact that only one secondary school in Adeje offers ‘Bachillerato’ courses”. The council have also set aside land for the construction of a vocational college and it is believed the regional education department will announce that work on this will begin soon.

 

Other annual investments made by the council in local education include monies for transport, school materials, (€350,000 this year), grants to assist students attend university, etc. The council has donated money to the parents’ associations this year to establish the programme that is a ‘walk to school safely’ scheme, currently benefitting over 200 families. The series of workshops for parents have also been of interest, dealing with pertinent matters such as drug dependency, school bullying, truancy, healthy eating habits, helping children to study, etc.

 

Adolfo Alonso used the time with the school principals to let them know about the up-coming Summer University with 14 courses and 15 workshops, with a wide range of subject matter on offer. There is also a training option for the over 25s via an agreement with the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

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“This is our history”

The Adeje council’s project, ‘El Patrimonio es Nuestra’ (This is our history), an initiative of the department of artistic heritage, has become a fixed part of the cultural agenda over the last seven years, with organised visits for students to get to know the cultural, natural and historical riches the borough has to offer.

“Since we began this project we have welcomed over one thousand students from primary and secondary schools, both from Adeje and other boroughs, as the history f Adeje is also very important for the neighbouring zones of the island” commented Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz, councillor for local heritage, adding, “we want to show the evolution of Adeje from the past to the present through items of cultural interest”.

The Plaza de España, the San Francisco Convent, the Santa Úrsula church, the surrounds of the Fort House, Taucho, the ‘Virgin’ walk to La Caleta, all emblematic points in the borough with guided visits now incorporated into the schools agendas, with the additional recent inclusion of a visit to the Canarian library where the students can learn more and enjoy audio-visual supports too. “This way we are helping the next generation learn a little about their own culture too, as well as getting to know the local resources and learning to value the history of Adeje” said the councillor.

The project is more than an educational one, as tours can be offered to residents too, with many having already taken part in tours in English and Spanish, learning too of the architectural treasures locally.

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Recycle your imagination!


Students in Adeje’s primary schools can start making their recycled gadgets now

The annual Adeje competition encouraging children and families to create art from recycled materials is underway.   As in previous years, students in the borough’s public infant and primary schools are invited to submit entries in the ‘cacharro’ competition (A ‘cacharro’ is a gadget or gizmo, toy or model, which in this instance should be made from recycled materials, cans, boxes, etc).  This year the theme is recycling, and the competition is supported by Ascan Torrabonaf, the company that operates the town cleaning service.
This is the seventh year the competition has been run by the council and schools and children can bring their entries along to their schools between November 13th and 24th.    According to Adeje cultural councillor, Adolfo Alonso Ferrera,  “as well as the talent, creativity and quality of the entries received over the years, we have also recognsied the value of inviting families to work together and to value the importance of recycling.
As in previous years all the chosen entries will be part of an exhibition in the Adeje cultural centre.  There will be three winners and three highly commended chosen by the jury from each education centre and prizes up to the value of €700 have been donated by Ascan Torrabonaf .  The prizes will be in the form of vouchers for books and school materials, of €40, €25 and €15 with certificated for the highly commended.  Use of recycled mateials, creativity, family participation and originality will be judged by the jury.
Pieces must be submitted in the schools, with a card in a closed envelope with the name of the work and the name and surname of the student, her or his class, age, and contact number.  The piece must have a corresponding sticker bearing the name of the work only.   The full list of regulations can be found online, www.adeje.es
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Prevention through education

 

The Adeje council, through the departments of health protection and equality politics (with councillors Amada Trujillo Bencomo and Carmen Lucía Rodríguez) have launched a series of workshops in the borough’s secondary schools dealing with bullying of all kinds.

The aim is to provide secondary school students with an awareness of sexual diversity and tools to aid in the prevention of school bullying, gender violence, homophobia, lesbophobia, trans phobia, sexual abuse, etc.

The councillors have said “one of the tools we need to eradicate phobias and discriminatory aggression of any kind is education. This is why we are continuing to offer these workshops in secondary schools because this is where the focus of the problem has been identified, and we have seen direct and indirect examples of this kind of bullying”.

In the first workshops students are being taught to help in the normalisation of sexual realities, in other words they are talking about how in the student body there will be people who are heterosexual, gay, lesbian, transsexual, bisexual, and that each and every person has a right to be open about their sexuality without fear of repercussions.

The students are encouraged to speak about the examples of intimidation, lack of respect, and ways in which people bully and can be stopped. The scourge of gender violence is also discussed – over 40 women have already lost their lives in Spain this year at the hands of a partner or ex-partner. Values of equality, problems with prejudice and sexual stereotyping are also being discussed.

The three workshops are taking place in the Los Olivos and the El Galeón secondary schools.

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Everything ready for ‘back to school’

 

Adeje’s schools are ready to receive the hundreds of students who are finishing up their summer holidays this weekend. Primary schools reopen their doors on Monday September 11th and the borough’s secondary schools on Wednesday September 13th.

During the months of July and August the council have invested over €50,000 in repairs to centres in the borough. The Adeje education councillor, Adolfo Alonso Ferrera says “this year we have invested money in improvements in all of the borough’s public centres following specific requests from the schools and the works carried out have improved security for pupils in the schools too”.

The works were carried out in conjunction with the department of works and local development under councillors Esther Rivero Vargas and Manuel Luis Méndez Martín. In Fañabe the entrance to the school has been upgraded with resurfacing and improvements to the park as well as an improvement in telecommunications in the school. In Adeje Casco the pavement outside the school’s main lower gate has been extended to offer greater safety to pupils, there is a ramp for those with reduced mobility, the steps to the courts have been improved and there is a new zone for the AMPA (parents’ association).

In Los Olivos the canteen floor has been renewed and there is a new archive area. In Las Torres the school farm has been completed, in Armeñime the sports courts have been resurfaced, the gardens and the school farm upgraded, and in Tijoco Bajo there is a new pavement with adapted paving and the centre’s façade is being redecorated.

While the secondary schools are actually run by a separate body, the council have met some of their outstanding needs and will be installing a new pedestrian access to the IES Adeje II (El Galeón) and installing benches in the IES Adeje I (Los Olivos) patios.

Sanitation facilities have been repaired in all of the borough’s infant and primary schools, classrooms and communal areas painted and garden and greens attended too. Adolfo Alonso Ferrrera: “We have been able to work to meet the requests of the schools in the borough as it is important that the centres are ready for the start of the 2017/2018 academic year. We hope that the students can look forward to a year full of hope, learning and discovery”.

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Valuing our heritage, learning from the past

 

The Adeje initiative “Difundiendo Nuestro Patrimonio” (Disseminating our heritage) is designed to open the doors onto the borough’s natural, historical and cultural heritage for students and has been running for six years now. According to the borough’s heritage councillor, Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz, “what we are trying to do is pass onto students the important role history plays today, and explain the relevance of the development and evolution of Adeje from days gone by through the many places of cultural interest we celebrate today.”

During the year up to a thousand students from primary and secondary centres take part in the initiative which also invites students from private schools both in Adeje and beyond, to explain the historic relevance of the borough in the history of Tenerife.

The Canarian Library, the Plaza de España, the Convento de San Francisco, the Santa Úrsula Church, the Fort House and surrounds and the Camino de la Virgen (the mountain walk from the town to La Caleta), these are the emblematic locations in the borough on which the guided visits are based and explained by experts from the heritage division. The visits use different educative tools adapted for the age of the students in question, and in this way “we are working to bring the young people of the borough closer to their heritage so they can appreciate the resources they have and value their own history”, says the councillor.

The Project doesn’t just have an educative angle, and is also open to members of the public who, on different occasions, have taken part in information days getting to know the architectural, natural and historical symbols of Adeje.

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Tackling bullies

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Unfortunately bullying is still very much a reality in schools today, and the Adeje council run a series of programmes to address, tackle and prevent this scourge of the classroom.

Run by the department of equality, the programme is designed for students in the first year of secondary school, their parents, their teachers and the public in general. Certainly when children move from primary into the somewhat more relaxed atmosphere of secondary school it is a time where new behaviours can emerge or existing ones can flourish, so tackling the issue in first year of this new era of the student’s education makes sense.

The course this year will be held in the second week of February with a series of activities designed to increase awareness and improve co-existence in the school setting, promoting non-violent values, dialogue, empathy, solidarity and respect. Respect is paramount in this setting particularly given our multi-cultural community in Adeje, and the course promotes respect for different cultures, body shapes, character, colour, sexuality and creed.

The department has classified bullying as personalised violence that is intentional, repeated and oriented to generate a relationship based on abuse and inequality between the abuser or bullier and the victim. The bully will use intimidation, isolation, threats and insults within the school setting. This resulting situation can cause huge harm to those who suffer.

It is, say the council, up to administrations implicated in the education system to guarantee that students in schools receive all the information needed to combat bullying. This will include how to recognise indicators, risk situations in schools, identifying the different roles children can be pushed into in the classroom, such as passive observer, victims, etc. Confronting the bully, interventions and the knock-on effects for the victim and other pupils will also be examined as well as the legal ramifications.
(Photo credit: FreeImages.com/katherine evans)

Jingle recycled bells!

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Adeje is hosting a gadget competition with Christmas theme

This year, for the second year in a row, the education department of Adeje council is organising a gadget or ‘cacharro’ competition through the borough’s public infant and primary schools. All the students in the borough’s schools can take part and submit a gizmo or gadget, and the winning entries will be part of an exhibition in the Adeje Cultural Centre.

The Adeje education councilor, Andres Pérez Ramos explained, “We are continuing the work we began last year, beginning autumn with a project concentrating on the value of recycling and reuse from a creative point of view. It’s also an activity that can involve everyone in the family in coming up with an idea, looking for materials, suggesting ways of adapting them, etc”.

The first competition last year was a great success with excellent levels of participation from schools and students all over Adeje. “Here in the council we are delighted at the response from the schools and the teachers and of course without their support it would be impossible to host such a project”, said Pérez Ramos.

To take part in the competition the works submitted must be made from recycled materials, ideally cans and tins as the primary resource and have Christmas as the theme. Other materials can be used but must be a reuse and recyclable.

The prizes will be awarded based on creativity and originality as well as for the participation of the family. The jury will also take the technical complexity of the entry into consideration as well as the relation of the entry to the chosen theme of Christmas.

Each school can pick up to 12 finalists but an outside jury, chosen by the council, will pick the three winning entries from each centre. The three winners will receive a diploma noting their participation in the exhibition, a voucher for books and school materials, the first place to the value of €450, second €25 and third place €15.

Every entry submitted must have a sticker with the name of the work and be accompanied by a sealed envelope with the same entry title on the outside and inside a card repeating the name of the entry as well as the full name of the student, the course, age and contact number.

Travel Broadens the Mind!

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Adeje’s department of education is helping to fund student trips

The Adeje department of education, under councillor Andrés Pérez, say that about 300 students have benefited from financial assistance in travel and what is termed ‘social tourism’ as part of the academic cycle. This initiative, which has been ongoing for a number of years now, allows the council “work in conjunction with the borough’s education centres to help fund different trips which have stated social and educational objectives”, said the councillor.

To avail of this particular travel grant students have to be signed up on the Adeje ‘padron’ (residential register) for at least six months and currently studying in one of the borough’s public schools, among other conditions. Pérez says, “the help the council is happy to give to this kind of project is not a new initiative. We firmly believe in any assistance we can offer to our young people in getting to know other cultures, a branch of learning which is fundamental to their personal development”.

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The councillor added that “the young people who take part in these trips become mini-ambassadors for our borough, and we are hoping to see these kind of initiatives continue for the school-going population as they give young people a different view of the world in which we live”.

In parallel the Adeje department of education is also working in partnership with the AMPAS (the schools’ parents associations) to assist in transport costs, etc, where and when necessary.

This year students from all the borough’s primary schools – Adeje, Las Torres, Armeñime, Fañabe, Tijoco and Los Olivos – have been involved, as well as representatives from the secondary schools in Los Olivos and El Galeón. Places visited included Asturias, Lanzarote, La Palma, Italy and Barcelona.

The council has also cooperated with the Comenius programme which works to reinforce mobility within Europe and partnership between different education centres across the continent. During the last academic year students from the borough took part in Comenius-sponsored visits to Poland and Manchester.