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Schoolchildren take the floor at the Cartagena Children's Plenary Session (20/11/2020)

| The session, chaired by the mayor, was held this Friday in the Plenary Hall of the City Hall, with interventions via telematics in which they have discussed the table about twenty proposals | Democracy is lived and practiced from childhood.

Every November 20, on the occasion of the celebration of the Universal Day of the Child and the Girl, the schoolchildren of Cartagena become protagonists in the Childhood Plenary, an act in which they raise their proposals to the Municipal Government team to express the main needs of young people and children in the municipality of Cartagena.Thus, almost a score of proposals have been defended by the representatives of the schoolchildren this Friday in the Plenary Session for Children of this 2020.

A Plenary that has been different from the previous ones, but that has not stopped the current situation of pandemic due to of COVID-19.In this way, its call has been adapted and it has been held electronically.

The students of the 79 participating educational centers have been able to follow the call from their classrooms, which have been connected through new technologies with the municipal plenary hall, in which its seven representatives were present, who have raised the mayor, Ana Belén Castejón, her proposals for next year, focused on vulnerability and harassment.

The theme was chosen by the students themselves, who consider it to be "of utmost importance."“Unfortunately, today there are children and adolescents who suffer harassment for different reasons such as bullying, cyberbullying, school bullying, harassment due to disability, because of their sexual orientation, their nationality or their religion ...

none of them justifies that there are people that they make fun, that they hit, that they intimidate and that they make others feel bad ”, stressed Fátima Mihit, a 2nd year high school student at IES Mediterráneo.Awareness and facilities to report harassment situations to end bullying in the classroomsSchoolchildren are clear about it: information, awareness and facilities to report bullying situations is essential.

For this reason, they have proposed to the Government team the creation of a website or mobile application that allows these behaviors to be brought to light, the installation in educational centers of mailboxes for the same purpose and training activities for students."It would serve to make children and adolescents see the negative effects of bullying and how badly a person who suffers it goes through," said Siham Halou, 2nd ESO of the IES San Isidoro de Los Dolores.But awareness should not be limited to the educational center, but must reach every corner of the municipality.

This is how Tariq Yarziz, 1st ESO at the Mediterranean IES, considers it, who has proposed that “the messages reach many people, the entire city, so that posters with awareness messages and information on this topic could be put up and also uploaded to social networks ”.For her part, the young Fátima Yarziz, a 4th ESO student at the IES Mediterráneo, has spoken about sexual harassment.

“Many women suffer harassment for being women, and this also happens at our age, among adolescents and even girls.

This is very serious, ”he stressed, while proposing self-defense workshops so that girls feel safer, or incorporating telephone numbers for services against harassment and abuse into the agendas and bookmarks that schoolchildren use daily.

so that they are accessible to all minors who may require them at some point in their lives.Schoolchildren launch their proposals to improve the situation of the most vulnerableMore bus lines to be able to travel to school or institute, support classes and school reinforcement and loans of technological material for the most needy families are some of the ideas that the youngest children propose to fight against inequality."There are families who cannot or know how to help, and this is affecting the fact that there are some children and adolescents who do worse in their studies," recalled Adam Rbii Benhari, who is in 2nd ESO at IES Jiménez de la Espada.In the same vein, Leonor Esparza, a 2nd ESO student at IES Isabel Belbis in Corvera, has expressed herself, who proposes the installation of Wi-Fi zones in neighborhoods and county councils, as well as the distribution of masks in educational centers and more means in hospitals and centers of health.

"We know that this is very difficult, many people get sick from the coronavirus, but also from other diseases, and since health is saturated, they cannot be treated as quickly as many people need," he recalled.The last student to speak was Mª Pilar Abellán, another 2nd ESO student at the San Juan Bosco school (Salesianos), who spoke about the need for mental health professionals specialized in minors.

"Although we are not adults, we have also suffered during confinement: there are children and adolescents who have had a hard time during confinement and for this reason we think that we can help them in this regard with professionals," he said, before proposing to implement Free sign language courses for schoolchildren, which would facilitate communication and interactions with peers with hearing impairments.The municipal leaders have taken note of the proposals of the schoolchildren and have promised to carry them out, always within their powers.

Thus, the mayor has advanced that some of these proposals are already being implemented in the municipality of Cartagena, so it will be studied to expand them to reach all students."As a municipal Corporation, we are committed to working from tomorrow and next year on the issues raised, to ensure the establishment of measures that detect these situations and help eradicate them from our municipality," said Ana Belén Castejón.Likewise, the mayor has recognized the great work done by the representatives of the students, who have known how to bring the voice of all their colleagues to the plenary hall of the Cartagena City Council.A year marked by the pandemicThe mayor has been able to explain the degree of implementation of the proposals made by the schoolchildren in the Plenary Session on Children last year, and which were focused on leisure and free time.Thus, in the 2019 call, the representatives of the students made proposals related to group activities and leisure that have had to be postponed due to the health pandemic that has caused Covid-19.

Source: Ayuntamiento de Cartagena

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