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01-10-2018

The Regional Government of Madrid receives the first of the close to 4,300 school children scheduled to visit Metro this academic year

The principal objective is to promote the use of the underground among our youngest citizens, to encourage them to become the passengers of the future. Gonzalo accompanied the children on their tour, organised in the framework of these educational visits dating back to 1982.

The Regional Government of Madrid has resumed, yet another year, the visits by school children to Metro de Madrid, which began in 1982 with the objective of promoting the use of this means of transport among our youngest citizens. This year, close to 4,300 children from 130 schools (regular, special and occupational) in the Autonomous Community of Madrid will tour Metro’s installations.

Today the Secretary for Transport, Housing and Infrastructures of the Community of Madrid, Rosalía Gonzalo, accompanied the first school children to visit the facilities of Metro de Madrid during the current 2018-2019 academic year, after welcoming them at Aeropuerto T4 Station.

More than 350,000 children have toured the facilities of the underground since the start of these visits in 1982 with a twofold objective, in the words of Ms. Gonzalo: “to promote the use of this means of transport among our youngest citizens by showing them all of its advantages, in addition to educating these future passengers in the responsible use of the network”.

The school visits take place from Monday to Thursday and are centred on Lines 8 and 12, depending on the location of the schools, targeting 4th, 5th and 6th year students in Primary School. Using language and methodology adapted to their different cognitive levels and to their interests, the children are given explanations in an entertaining and participative manner about the elements comprising the station and the trains, as well as what their purpose is and how such elements (automatic machines, turnstiles, escalators, information panels, intercoms, pictograms, signage, etc.) are used properly, by means of practical examples.

Gonzalo explained that, through this activity, “the intention is for the children to become the passengers of the future and to make them aware of the positive aspects of using this means of transport, highlighting its speed, safety and respect for the environment. In addition, they learn about aspects of the history of Metro and of the city of Madrid”.

Separate from this but along the same lines, Metro has another project underway called ‘Con Metro reactivas el planeta’ (‘With Metro You Reactivate the Planet’), which consists of learning activities geared to children in the first cycles of Primary and Secondary Education in their own classrooms, followed by a visit to the nearest Metro station.

The intention of these activities is to contribute positively to the creation and promotion of habits that will further the use of environmentally friendly means of transport. By June, more than 700 students had participated in this project, which seeks to educate in the responsible use of public transport.

SPECIAL EDUCATION AND OCCUPATIONAL CENTRES

Finally, a significant aspect in this context is that the underground also organises activities for Special Education and Occupational Centres. The specific and priority objective is to assist students and users with intellectual or developmental disabilities in acquiring a greater degree of personal autonomy in their daily routines and, therefore, in the use of the Metro network and, in this way, to promote their full integration into society. This year, 140 students from 10 of these centres have participated.

The activity consists of a visit to the Line 8 installations which will enable them, in completely safe conditions, to establish contact with Metro de Madrid or expand upon the knowledge of the underground they already have, whichever the case may be. It is important to generate an atmosphere of reassurance and trust, where the participants with intellectual disabilities can feel secure and free to express their doubts and have the opportunity of a direct experience of the availability and cooperation of the underground personnel.

The visits are supported by visual aids that facilitate the understanding and learning of basic elements of operation and safety and emphasise particularly the recommendations which must be observed and respected by all users. These materials serve as a tool of communication and are a basic element for achieving a greater degree of personal autonomy. Visually and graphically, with an entertaining approach, the materials explain in a simple but effective manner the routine use of Metro de Madrid for day-to-day journeys.

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