CARTAGENA – 100 pupils at public school Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente in Los Nietos enjoy their lessons on the beach. Los Nietos is located on the Mar Menor, the largest inland sea in Spain.
The initiative, called ‘Aire Limpio’ (clean air), enables students to safely follow their lessons together. Various studies show the chance of contracting corona virus in the open air is considerably lower than indoors. Cartagena’s deputy for Education, Irene Ruiz, emphasises “Cartagena, with its unique climate and environment, is an ideal place to launch initiatives such as this one that help protect students from Covid-19”.
The deputy says this initiative “is an extra incentive for school children to be more motivated in these difficult times.” In fact, this unique experience, allows the children to immerse themselves in their natural environment. “Fishermen taught the students how to fish … how they themselves have been able to feed us in times of pandemic,” said headteacher Alfonso Vera. Also, members of a nearby residents association brought the Roman era to life by dressing up as soldiers
The students follow their lessons on the beach with blackboard, tables and chairs but with their feet in the sand. They learn conventional subjects such as mathematics, social studies or music in contact with nature. The Mediterranean climate in the Murcia region on the Spanish east coast is ideal for this.
Big hit with the students
Teachers prepare the beach classes from 8 am. Eight classes take part in the 20-minute lessons with groups rotating through different areas. The children at the school are aged from 3 to 12. They remain in their class bubbles and there have been no reported cases of coronavirus so far.
“I love going to the beach!” said Antonio Fernandez, aged 9. “I prefer to be at the beach because I feel more relaxed and comfortable.”