Trip to Lisbon to get to know Portuguese full-time schools

About twenty people participate in an expedition that has been jointly organized by DIPLOCAT, the Delegation of the Catalan Government to Portugal and Catalonia's Education 360 Alliance

Today begins a three-day trip to Lisbon jointly organized by DIPLOCAT, the Delegation of the Catalan Government to Portugal and Catalonia's Education 360 Alliance in order to get to know the Portuguese education model better and share experiences. The specific objective is to see how full-time schools (escolas a tempo inteiro) work, one of the elements that have allowed Portugal to gain international notability for its successful education policy and which has consistently managed to reduce school dropout and improve the results to reach European average standards. In addition, Portugal has a public school system that is not segregated and has a good social reputation.

Full-time schools were promoted from 2005 following a reform of the Portuguese Ministry of Education and were implemented through collaboration and funding agreements with City Councils and school managements. In fact, it is the same year that similar education plans are promoted in Catalonia in the direction of full-time education and linking inside and outside the school, with the aim of reaching educational equity and success for all students.

The Portuguese reform involved the extension of the opening hours of the first cycle of primary schools (from 6 to 10 years of age) until 5:30 p.m. and a diversification of the project's educational activities through a variety of activities called AEC (Actividades de Enriquecimento Curricular). The aim was to contribute to strengthening the base of primary school learning, equity in access to non-formal education activities, and the adjustment between school and work time for families.

The group that has traveled to Lisbon is made up of 22 people, including representatives of the Catalan Ministry of Education; a representative of the Federation of Municipalities of Catalonia (FMC); representatives of the provincial councils of Girona and Barcelona; a dozen mayors and town councilors who are part of the Education 360 Alliance; and representatives of the driving team made up of DIPLOCAT, Education 360, the Jaume Bofill Foundation and the Catalan Federation of Educational Renewal Movements. The Catalan Government's delegate in Portugal, Rui Reis, will accompany them during some of the scheduled activities.

The trip's agenda includes meetings with political representatives, such as the former Minister of Education who implemented full-time schools in Portugal, Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues, who is now rector of the University Institute of Lisbon, and the current Director General of Education, Pedro Cunha; with mayors and other municipal officials; and with educational technicians and experts. The group will visit several educational projects in municipalities in the Lisbon district, such as Cascais and Loures, and will attend some of the activities carried out within the framework of the AEC activities.

The Education 360 Alliance is a platform promoted by the Jaume Bofill Foundation and the Federation of Pedagogical Renewal Movements whose aim is to make effective the access and participation of children and young people in educational activities outside the school. This platform currently has 370 partners, almost half of which are councils and supra-local administrations and the other half are third sector organizations and educational entities.