Over 280.000 students returned to their schools, colleges and institutes in the Alicante province on Monday, a similar figure to last year, although, according to teachers unions, there was also an absence of at least a thousand teachers who failed to report because of illness. However the educational authorities have stated that most absences will be covered during the course of the week.

They blame the situation on the failure of a computer program that wasn’t resolved until last Friday.

Publish data states that 53% of Primary schools and 61% of the Secondary schools in the province are suffering from the absence of at least one teacher.

The Ministry of Education, however, say that they have reduced the number of days that schools would usually have to wait for temporary cover from 21 days to 10. “We have reduced the time it takes to place substitute teachers in schools by over half, but we want to cut it by even more”, they state.

On the subject of maintenance and improvements to school buildings the Consell says they will need 136 million euros this year to reform and improve 104 schools in the province. They add that since 2015 they have built 22 new centres in the province worth 103 million euros, including the IES La Encantá de San Fulgencio, the Sanchis Banús Special Education School in Ibi, and the Playas de Orihuela School, each of which is now in a new building after decades of prefabrication.