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Miguel Hernández and Poeta Salvador Rueda, on the warpath due to the lack of personnel in their school canteens

“The daily management of the school canteen service is carried out taking into account the capacity and the number of diners who make use of said service”, states the Junta de Andalucía in its official Web. However, in Benalmádena the numbers do not come out, and as proof of this you just have to look towards the school Poeta Salvador Ruedaand to Miguel Hernández,the latter should be remembered that from the beginning of the school year it also provides a dining room service to the students of El Panal, a center that continues to this day without being able to offer this benefit.

The germ of the problem suffered by these educational centers arises due to two casualties in the kitchen staff at the Miguel Hernández school, which had already dragged the place for a year without covering the retirement of another worker. Although this educational center began the school year with four kitchen workers, it soon suffered two sudden casualties, and the dining room service was supported by only two assistants, whose job is only to set up the tables and perform tasks such as cutting, peeling and preparing food.

According to the Ampaof this school, “the dining room was about to close since it was unfeasible to take out the daily menus only with two kitchen assistants.” To avoid the closure of the service, the Junta de Andalucía -which is responsible for filling the vacant places- provided them with two weeks of catering through an emergency plan designed on the occasion of the pandemic to meet extraordinary needs in Andalusian school canteens.   

The two weeks passed and, according to the Ampa of Miguel Hernández, “Instead of hiring new staff as would be the most logical thing to do, the solution given to us by the Delegation of Education in Málaga is to bring us the head chef of the educational center Poeta Salvador Rueda and a kitchen assistant from another school in Alhaurín de la Torre, and of course they do not give us a date to fill the retirement vacancy, which we have been demanding for a year now “.  

This  species of chain of favorsbetween schools Benalmádena propelled by the Junta de Andalucía To cover the lack of personnel in the Benalmadan school canteens, it seems that the only result that is reaping so far is the indignation of the parents of the students of the affected schools, who do not rule out starting demonstrations in the provincial Delegation of Education of Málaga.

For its part the Ampa Buganvilla of school Poeta Salvador Rueda criticizes that “they have left our dining room, -which has more than 446 diners, in several shifts-, with only 4 people in the kitchen, serving more than 1,200 menus a day, and all for not hiring a person to make up for a drop in the Miguel Hernández”, in which this service serves just over 200 students, which they understand not as a solution to the problem, but rather “as the cheapest alternative” for the competent Administration.

According to this Ampa, “the solution is not to undress a saint to dress another, but rather the hiring by the company of workers to make up for casualties, since both the Miguel Hernández as the Poeta Salvador Rueda they deserve to have a minimum of staff in the kitchen and that the children are offered the menu in conditions, not to mention those workers who are overwhelmed and stressed every day ”.

For their part, the representatives of the parents of students of the Miguel Hernández indicate that “we proposed to extend the catering as an exceptional measure since our center has its own kitchen, until they made the hiring of relevant personnel but they indicated that it was impossible because the emergency plan in which they included us only included the option of two non-extendable weeks ”.

Both Ampashave joined forces in their demands before a common front, which is none other than offering an adequate canteen service for the students of both schools. In this sense, they state that they feel “powerless” since despite the numerous writings that they have forwarded to the competent administrations in this matter, they have only received silence for an answer, or a simple “is in process.”

Si While the website of the Junta emphasizes that “the menus served in public school canteens follow the recommendations of the bodies responsible for health in terms of healthy eating, so it can be said that the situation of school canteens in Andalusia is exemplary since the nutritional point of view ”, the modifications made in the Poeta Salvador Rueda Due to the reduction in staff, they have provoked the indignation of parents who do not understand how “they force us to change the menus for less healthy ones and they do not even give us a date or guarantee to solve the problem”.

And the fact is that, although they understand that “the staff drops because we all get sick, it is not normal for professionals to be taken away from one school to put them in another instead of filling the vacancy with a new hiring, which would be the most logical thing to do. and normal ”.

Although sick leave is unpredictable, it is not the retirements or the conditioning of facilities to provide a dining room service in a school that “the autonomous Administration itself decided to make it independent from ours”, criticize the representatives of the parents in reference toEl Panal.

On the other hand, the detriment to the health of school menus also affects more worryingly the families of students receiving the programa Syga, a solidarity and food guarantees program that provides coverage in school canteens to school children from families at risk of social exclusion, for whom the lunch they make at school is, in most cases, the central meal of the school. day before the lack of economic resources in the family. Most of the families under this plan that are affected by the problem in these two schools in Benalmádena are exposed to Ole Benalmádena that “if we do not make public how much the situation is affecting us, it is because nobody likes to know about the economic problems that we are living at home, -in many cases a product of the pandemic- but there is no doubt that for us that food is fundamental for our children ”.  In this sense, the Ampa of Miguel Hernández denounces that “in our school there are five children who through this program eat lunch and take home a snack and dinner, and if the dining room closes: what happens to these children?”

The two Ampas emphasize that the kitchen staff “is excellent and does everything in their power, but logically they cannot cope and the solution is as simple as the responsible Administrationcovering the casualties with new professionals.”  

Added to the uncertainty faced by these two Benalmadan schools is the problem of the public school El Panal, whose classrooms were attached to the educational center Miguel Hernández but that the Junta of Andalucía decided last January that for this school year, both centers would be totally independent In this way, although this school already has its own management and secretariat staff, the facilities have not been conditioned so that it can offer its canteen service which, as this media has learned, is awaiting the building permit.

The complaints of the Ampas go further, and that of the Poeta Salvador Rueda emphasizes that since last July he has been requesting a special education monitor “since we have many students with special needs” and to date they have not received any response. Something similar happens in the Miguel Hernández, who a few days ago discovered that the Juntahas made them independent fromEl Panal, “but in addition to continuing to serve their students in the dining room, we also share a speech therapist and a speech therapist, despite the fact that this center would have to have their own ”.

For his part, the Councilor for Education, Pablo Centella, told Ole Benalmádena that “we are aware of this situation and have contacted the competent administration in this matter, but the only response we have received is that the solution will come in brief”.

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