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Back to school 2022: necessary investments for quality equipment

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Un préau d'école avec des enfants et des jeux.

Close to 12,500 children returned to school this morning in the City of Geneva, an increase of 188 compared to last year. The main challenges for the start of the 2022 school year were announced this morning by Christina Kitsos, the magistrate responsible for the Department of Social Cohesion and Solidarity, and Frédérique Perler, the magistrate responsible for planning, construction and mobility.

The traditional back-to-school press briefing in the City of Geneva was held at the Seujet School, whose roof has gone green thanks to the participatory budget implemented by the City. This school hosts 275 pupils in 13 classes.

Frédérique Perler, Executive Councillor in charge of the Department of Planning, Construction and Mobility stresses that “during the school holidays, the Built Heritage Department made every effort to ensure the schools were ready, so that the pupils could start the school year in the best possible conditions. Paint, floors, lights, repaired blinds, roof checks and maintenance, toilets, cleaning... More than 30 different tasks were undertaken this summer while 28 had already been completed in February and a further 23 during the Easter holidays.”

Planning, a key issue

With an increase in the number of pupils scheduled for the coming years and in light of the uncertainty surrounding the arrival of pupils from Ukraine, school planning remains a key issue.

Christina Kitsos, the magistrate in charge of the Department of Social Cohesion and Solidarity, highlights the “City’s increased commitment to responding to the higher number of pupils and children registered for extracurricular activities by implementing a school planning dating back to June 2020 and making the necessary investments to provide the pupils with quality equipment.”

The construction of the modular buildings at the Trembley and les Allières schools has been ongoing since the start of the summer. The solution adopted will provide the children and their teachers with functional and comfortable rooms within a time frame of 8 to 9 months, whereas it takes several years to build a new school. During this time, every measure will be taken to guarantee the children’s safety near the work sites. Furthermore, pedagogical activities are scheduled with a view to involving the pupils in the extension of the school. 

With regard to the transformation of staff housing into extracurricular premises in eleven schools, a credit of over 4 million francs was voted by the Municipal Council at the end of 2020. Four transformations will have been completed by the end of the year in the following schools: Grottes, Le Corbusier, Cité Jonction and Eaux-vives. Another five will be ready for the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.

Investments in school canteens

Several further credits are expected to be granted by the Municipal Council in the future, in particular for the renovation and reorganisation of the school kitchens in 6 schools. These investments must make it possible to cope with an increase in school numbers of almost 10% in the past 10 years. Furthermore, formal governance of the school canteens will take effect from September, with service provision contracts henceforth tying the City to the different associations.

Healthy and balanced meals

Watch the video showing how the lunches are carefully prepared by the City of Geneva’s school canteen chefs:

 

Room rental: increased offer

With regard to sharing premises, major efforts have been made with a view to increasing the availability of rooms in schools, both for private individuals and for associations. At Geisendorf and les Plantaporrêts, new rooms have been made available while in the Marie Goegg-Pouchoulin sector and at Carré-Vert, premises are made available to associations only.

Safety on the way to and from school

Safety on the way to and from school is a key concern among parents. The City is introducing an awareness and information campaign for motorists and/or cyclists concerning traffic risks near schools and the role of the  school patrol.

Increased access to culture and sport

The City is pursuing the development of the mobile and discovery workshops introduced by the School and Child Institutions Service in collaboration with numerous partners. This measure is designed to improve access to culture and sport from a very young age during extracurricular activities. All the City’s schools now benefit from these sporting and cultural activities and from increased awareness of environmental issues. New workshops focussing on cycle-polo, tap dancing and natural cosmetics complete the offer.

A new Bauer-Lagier nursery

By choosing to name the new early childhood facility opened in the Vieusseux neighbourhood “crèche Monique Bauer-Lagier”, the City pays tribute to this politician who was a pioneer in the field of ecology and worked to promote children’s rights. The Bauer-Lagier nursery offers 40 new places from the start of the new school year.

The back-to-school allowance for all children

The back-to-school allowance has been renewed for the 10th consecutive year. A total of 130 francs and 180 francs per year are paid to families for each child enrolled in the primary cycle and the orientation cycle respectively. For the second consecutive year, the service is accessible to all children without any differentiation relating to their parents’ status, thanks to a partnership with the Centre de contact Suisses-Immigrés (CCSI).

Spotlight on games

The City has consolidated its commitment to activities for children with 12 games libraries offering extended open times on Saturday morning, leisure activities at the weekend at la Bâtie des enfants and the organisation of a full day of games for families on Sunday 25 September. According to Christina Kitsos, “Games are a key aspect of a child’s development and their openness to the world, and must be made accessible to as many children as possible. Beyond the pleasure they give, games provide opportunities to discover, learn and develop social skills, serving as excellent levers of social cohesion and the integration of families in their neighbourhoods.”

Contact

Manuelle Pasquali de Weck

Direction du département de la cohésion sociale et de la solidarité (DCSS)

Adjointe de direction en charge de la communication

Por. +41 79 446 40 13

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Contact

Catherine Armand

Direction du département de l’aménagement, des constructions et de la mobilité (DACM)

Collaboratrice personnelle

Tél. 022 418 20 32

Por. 076 375 69 44

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Article modifié le 30.08.2022 à 14:14