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Sick kids avoid missing out on school during hospital stays

A child in a classroom at the Materno Infantil, Malaga.
A child in a classroom at the Materno Infantil, Malaga. / Álvaro Cabrera
  • Children are given lessons during their hospitalisation in the classrooms at Malaga's Materno Infantil and other local clinics

In a hospital paediatric ward, as well as looking after sick children, classes are also a priority. That's the philosophy followed in the wards in the Materno Infantil and in hospitals in Ronda, Vélez, Antequera and Marbella. A team of around ten teachers teach the patients in the mornings during the week. There were around 600 students across the hospitals last term.

The children participate in fun, educational activities which aim to stimulate their intellectual and social development during their hospitalisation.

The head of Health in the province, Ana Isabel González, accompanied by the manager of the Hospital Regional Carlos Haya, Emiliano Nuevo, visited the classroom at the Materno Infantil last week, where 256 children were taught last term. González explained that the children who spend a lot of time hospitalised are taught here so that when they are discharged from hospital they can return to school with no issues. To facilitate this, the hospital teachers frequently coordinate with a patient's school teachers.

According to Elena Bueno, one of the teachers at the Materno Infantil, there is a strong emphasis on the teaching of maths, language, sciences and reading comprehension.

Once a child has been in hospital for three weeks, they get in touch with their school to design a teaching programme for the child.

Education at home

The hospital teachers also go to the homes of the young patients so that their hospital education and home educated are linked. “What we hope is that the children won't stop developing their education because of an illness,” explains Elena Bueno.

These classes are part of the work being done by the regional government's health department to humanise and make hospital stays for young children easier.