in the last few months the debate on the day continues or intensive in educational centers has been revived. The compression of school hours, which has been advancing in schools in Spain since the 1990s, has experienced a new boost with the coronavirus pandemic, as many schools have argued that it was a good solution to reduce the risk of contagion between minors. Now, teachers want to implant it permanently.
Nevertheless, A study carried out by the Center for Economic Policies of the Esade Business School points out that this compression of school hours would harm minors and their families, who would lose, as a whole, some 8,000 million euros a year by not being able to continue working one of its members, generally women, after 2:00 p.m., when the children leave school with this schedule.
No educational reasons. The experts they were already warning in recent months that there are no educational reasons to implement a continuous day in schools, and that it would only be a job improvement for teachers. The recently published report points out that there is no definitive evidence on the influence of the schedule on academic performance, but emphasizes that there are some correlational studies in which it is suggested that the split day is associated with better results.
What there is solid evidence about, they continue, is the benefits for children of spending more time at school, both in and out of school, in academic and socio-emotional terms, and that the split day, with an early lunch and a subsequent pause, better adapts to the biorhythms of minors, which contributes positively to their health, well-being and their sleep cycles.
Income reduction. The intensive day also means that parents have to take care of their children three hours earlier, at 2:00 p.m., than they would with a split schedule, at 5:00 p.m., which harms family income in the case of that both parents work: either they hire someone to take care of them, or one of the two (mostly women, according to the study) must reduce their working day, and with it their salary, to take care of them.
The research data indicates that women who do not hire someone to look after their children or ask a close friend to take care of them until the afternoon receive 1,850 euros less per year. Men in the same circumstances lose much less, about 970 euros per year. Thus, the report points out that the intensive day in schools aggravates the gender gap both within households and between them.
Delve into inequality. The study also points out that these circumstances could deepen social inequalities, since families with more resources can enroll their children in extracurricular activities to complete that time of schooling that is beneficial for their educational and socio-emotional development, while the poorest do not have that possibility.
Likewise, families with more resources can choose to enroll their children in state-subsidized or private schools, where the majority of the day is full. In the public increasingly there is a tendency to intensive, and even in some autonomous communities, such as Andalusia, it is the official one.
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