The education community used the 30th anniversary to offer a ten-point presentation on what has been learnt at schools during an academic year shaped by Covid-19, as well as good practices which they would like to last beyond the pandemic.
The Barcelona Municipal Education Council offered an infographic presentation with the balance from the City, Schools and Covid Working Group, rounding off activities with a series of reflections, achievements and challenges for education in Barcelona. The current context has enriched the quality of education in many respects which schools, students and families would like to preserve once the pandemic is over.
The animated infographic “What have we learnt from the education system in times of the pandemic and which we would like to include to keep improving education in the city?” sets out ten things which have been learnt. Notably:
- The need to stand up for education as an essential right and service which requires people to be physically present and for children and young people to be at the centre.
- The collective involvement of the education community in the city, made up of teachers and management, students, families and administrations, being jointly responsible in an extraordinary, uncertain and complex situation.
- The school as a fundamental institution for guaranteeing equality for all children and young people and the need to make digital education universal.
- The city itself is a space for education which during the pandemic has played its part in facilitating access to schools and providing public spaces and facilities to guarantee the school year goes ahead.
- Children, young people and teachers have adapted and innovated with new teaching practices to help make the school year a success.
Municipal backing for education
The school is a means for driving the transformation of the city and is a key facility for neighbourhoods. In terms of the city budget, the commitment to education means an annual investment of some 200 million euros, representing 7% of the entire municipal budget is devoted to education, with measures to improve public schooling and help it grow.
Municipal backing for education is starting to bring results, with the trend beginning to change: students enrolled in their first year of infant school at publicly run centres in the city now slightly outnumber those enrolled at state-subsidised private schools, meaning the deficit in public schooling in Barcelona is starting to be redressed. Four out of ten pupils between the ages of 3 and 16 go to publicly run schools, compared to an average of seven out of ten in Catalonia as a whole.
A series of measures have been implemented to move towards a fairer, more educational and feminist city which combats inequalities in the early years of life: social pricing for municipal nursery schools, the plan against school segregation, the implementation of new professional profiles at schools (social and emotional educators) and more resources for school meal subsidies.
Other priority measures include the plan to transform playgrounds and the ‘Protegim les escoles’ project. By the end of the year, the latter will have improved the surroundings at the entrances to 101 schools, reduced traffic lanes in 14 streets and changed the priority in favour of pedestrians in a further 17, besides widening bike lanes.