Salamanca, Spain, Sep 9 (efe-epa).- Just as the Spanish preschool curriculum was set to place more emphasis on education and less on childcare, along came the coronavirus and turned everything on its head.
In the historic Spanish city of Salamanca, classrooms reopened their doors to children who have been out of school since March and others who will be taking their first steps into the education system amid strange circumstances.
Palpable examples of education having to take a back seat — at least temporarily — is the modification of teaching hours and the fact that lesson time on the first day back was exchanged for a rundown on the new health and safety protocols in place for Covid-19.
Although concrete school hours are yet to be finalized in Castile and Leon, an expansive region that lies to the west of Madrid, the staggered entry to the school building was not enough to prevent gatherings of parents and children outside the gates of the Santa Catalina de Salamanca public school on Wednesday.
Delays in admission to the building were prompted by routine temperature checks at the entrance.
The guardians who arrived at the school with children in tow were alerted the previous day that admission to the school building would take place between 9am-10am in groups of 10 and it was clear from the conversations, and their exchanges of glances, that they had not expected such a crowd.
The teachers, too, admitted they did not foresee lines forming outside the building.
They also acknowledge that the outcome of the school year will be completely dependent on the evolution of the virus.
Under this pressure and with the prospect of another shutdown in the event of an outbreak, teachers have been told to prioritize the “important” parts of the curriculum.
Spanish children were kept housebound for weeks during the height of the lockdown between mid-March and May, which was one of the strictest in all of Europe.