The General Secretary of the Catholic School has defended the pedagogical values of splitting the school day, saying it prevents students from being excessively tired in the last hours of school.
“We consider that the split day is pedagogically better than the intensive one and contributes a plus to academic performance,” said Llúcia Salleras.
She also referred to this issue after the debate in the concerted centres on the supposed convenience, mainly health, of implementing the continuous or intensive day, promoted by associations or groups of parents who are demanding that the schedules be changed.
Families that are promoting the debate argue that the intensive day reduces times of entry and exit at the centres from four to two, which in turn reduces crowds and the risk of coronavirus infection.
“The decision to change the schedule corresponds to the ownership of the centres and there can be no doubt that they are seriously reflecting on the health and pedagogical viability of a modification of this type,” said Salleras. “It must be taken into account that each centre has its own characteristics, so a general recommendation doesn’t make sense. Factors such as the number of students, the number of entrances to the centre or even whether it is located on a wide or narrow street are taken into account. If the split day was not safe from a health point of view, I am convinced that the centre would change its schedule.”
Salleras has appealed to families to stay calm and trust the Management Teams.
“The operation of centres is under control, despite these complicated circumstances and everything is open to revision and rectification over and above impulsive and visceral statements. Everything has pros and cons, and you have to trust the Management Teams and the owners of the centres.
She also rejected accusations that subsidised centres don’t want to implement the intensive day because it would cut their income from the dining room service.
"Dining scholarships have increased considerably, in fact in many centres service costs have increased because more monitors and spaces have to be provided and they want to offer this service for the families, not to make money.
One centre in Minorca has stopped providing canteen services because it doesn’t have enough space to comply with the health regulations.
"Many concerted centres have reflected on this issue and because of different characteristics and circumstances, some will change and others will continue as they are."
Two Franciscan schools in Palma have opted for different solutions. The Col·legi Sant Francesc in the centre of the city has kept the split day, but Porciúncula in s’Arenal has implemented the continuous day.