The PPdeG defends its model against “coffee for all” with free bipartisan books
2023/24 school calendar: back to school dates by community
P. Palaces/P. Baamonde
The Galician opposition has loaded the inks this Monday a week after the start of a school year, 2023/24, which they clothed with almost apocalyptic overtones. Both BNG and PSdeG have cried out against the expense involved for parents, to which the Socialists added the statement that rural students leave with “less rights” than those in urban centers. To all this, the PPdeG has contrasted the message that, in the Community, the start of the course will be “less problematic” than in other autonomies “thanks to the support of the Xunta.”
The national spokesperson of the BNG, Ana Pontón, has surrounded herself in the Parliament of Anpas and families to proclaim that they had told her that this will not be “another start of the course”, but “the most expensive in our history”: it will force many households to “sweat ink” to meet the cost of purchasing material, which puts them in a “borderline” situation, he said. Opposite, he has accused, a Xunta “installed in propaganda” and in a “virtual reality”, with an “insensitive” PP and “without the capacity for empathy”, in the face of the “perfect storm” that has triggered the “indiscriminate rise in prices », higher than the Spanish average in Galicia; added to the fact that with salaries and pensions the opposite happens.
There is a “parallel reality”, that of the PP and the Xunta, has had an impact, and “a very different one”, that of the “day to day” of Galician families, who “see with anguish” the start of the course, in Primary and Children already on September 11. Pontón has criticized that it will start running without “any extraordinary measure” on the part of the Galician government, despite estimating the average extra expense at 450 euros, which can skyrocket, in the worst case, up to 1,000 euros in families with two children, has assured. The Bloc, he has opposed, proposes to recover the free textbooks, and will reinstate it if it governs from 2024; to which he has added a card with aid between 250 and 500 euros for the lowest incomes.
The spokesman for the Socialist Group in O Hórreo, Luis Álvarez, has also insisted that free books be restored; and has indicated that the return to the classrooms will be done with “fewer units”, and in some cases, with all Infant and Primary in one unit, which “takes us back to the black Spain of the 60s and early 70s”, has pointed. To this he has added that in ESO and Baccalaureate there will be electives that cannot be taken, which the PSdeG sees as an “evident loss of equality” in rural areas. “The most equitable model in all of Spain” that the Xunta advocates, he stressed, is just a “phrase” that fits “very well.”
His new counterpart in the PPdeG, Alberto Pazos, has refuted that the full free bipartisan books was a “coffee for all” that “did not work.” It is “much fairer”, he has defended, the “progressive distribution” model that Alfonso Rueda claimed last week: seven out of ten families receive some support to buy material from the Xunta, which increases to 26 million – compared to 12 before of the pandemic— the spending on this item, with savings of 100 million for households with children.
“The perfect Storm”
The biggest problem families face, explains the outgoing president of the Federation of Anpas Compostela, Fernando Lacaci, who will soon be replaced by Isabel Calvete, in conversation with this outlet, is “exceeding inflation” that affects textbooks and to school supplies, yes, but that also has a strong impact when it comes to filling the shopping basket, buying clothes and shoes or paying for energy in homes. To this crucible is added that this year the textbooks must be replaced in all the even courses of Primary, Secondary and Baccalaureate by the new educational regulations, which leaves families “no other choice than buying the books.” And, in the case of odd courses, in order not to pay for them, they must obtain one that is from this last school year. It is the conjuration of a “perfect storm”, says Lacaci, for his economy. “The solution,” he sums up, “is to assume free and public compulsory education” guaranteed by the Constitution and by nature, he recalls, must cover all school material, including textbooks.