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Ponta Delgada ,  September 16, 2019

Vasco Cordeiro opens Canto da Maia School and calls for increased involvement of families in their children's educational path

The President of the Government announced today the beginning of the school year with the opening of the new premises of Canto da Maia Basic Education School in Ponta Delgada, an investment of about 18 million Euros. On the occasion, he called for an increasing involvement of Azorean families in the educational path of children and youth in the Region.
On the day when the 2019/2020 school year began, Vasco Cordeiro pointed out that nearly 100 million Euros will be invested in regional schools during the 2016-2020 parliamentary term, including interventions already completed, underway or at tender stage.
“Some of these investments are particularly relevant on the island of São Miguel, such as the Capelas School and the Rabo de Peixe School.  Tomorrow, at the Government’s Council meeting, we will approve the launch of the public tender for the construction of the new Arrifes School,” the President of the Government announced, adding that this volume of works “does not neglect the needs that still exist” in some regional school establishments.
In his speech, the President of the Government also stressed the importance of a stable, competent and motivated teaching staff for the regional educational system, taking into account its contribution “to the construction of the Region of Tomorrow."
“If we want to talk about from the point of view of motivation, the process towards the full recovery of teachers' length of service, which began this September, is a key element. It is expected to last over the coming years and was agreed with the unions in the Region," stressed the government official.
In these four years of the legislature, and following the trend that had already been observed, about 400 teachers will be recruited for the Region's school staff, “thus reducing the need to recruit teachers on fixed-term contracts," stated the President of the Government.
“But there is something we cannot delude ourselves into. There is and there will always be the need to resort to this type of employment contract because, indeed, the very dynamics of our lives makes it necessary,” Vasco Cordeiro said, announcing the recruitment of 250 employees for non-teaching duties this school year.
According to the President of the Government, several amendments to the school curriculum and the curricular autonomy of schools will enter into force this school year.
"We are convinced that, as a result of the work carried out by schools over the last months, they have all the conditions to achieve success in this school year," said Vasco Cordeiro. In this regard, he highlighted the provision of computational and programming language training to all elementary school students, a project that will also be extended to the middle school level.
“We believe this is a fundamental area for the qualification of our young people in terms of acquiring the skills for the future,” Vasco Cordeiro said, emphasising the reinforcement of the "Prof DA" programme to provide differentiated monitoring of students' learning progress, with special emphasis on Math. It is expected to involve 60 teachers this school year.
“All this is done based on the results achieved.  And this is something that none of the parties involved in our education system can forget,” the President of the Government said, noting that the path followed by the Region over the last years enables us to “sustain the hope that we are on the right track.”
After pointing out that there are still major challenges to be overcome in this area, Vasco Cordeiro added that the latest known data regarding the 2017/2018 school year lead to the conclusion that the decrease in non-progression rates and the increase of progression rates, in terms of percentage points, are more intense than in Madeira and Mainland Portugal.
“This is a reason for confidence and hope in the future as far as makes possible for us to follow the path of convergence towards what we intend to achieve for our educational system and our Region," stated the government official.
On this first day of the new school year, the President of the Government also called Azorean families for an increasing commitment to improve their children's school success.
“Educational success does not begin at an 18 million-Euro school. It does not start at the School Board, at the School Assembly or at the Regional Directorate for Education. Educational success begins within each Azorean family. It begins with parents in valuing the school success of their children," stated the government official.
Following this investment, the Canto da Maia Basic Education School represents, in fact, a new educational establishment, as it was necessary to demolish the entire existing building, build new facilities from scratch, and upgrade and expand the Sports Hall and the Gymnasium.
With a gross floor area of more than 17 thousand square metres, the school has the capacity to accommodate almost a thousand students in eight activity rooms, 27 regular classrooms for the elementary and middle school levels, three Music rooms, two computer rooms, three Visual and Technological Education rooms, two Nature Science laboratories, cafeteria, auditorium and a media library.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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