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Consell offers Catalan classes for local agents of Guardia Civil

Catalan language instruction will be offered to locally-stationed officers of the Guardia Civil as part of a collaborative agreement struck by the Language Advisory Service of the Formentera Department of Language Policy and the local seat of the General Administration of the State.

Evenings from this Thursday 12 March, five members of the force will attend classes in a room at the Guardia Civil barracks. The first round of classes starts at the beginners’ level —also known as A2— and runs for three months.

According to the island’s language policy chief, Raquel Guasch, the agreement with the Guardia Civil “promotes learning and encourages officers of the law stationed on Formentera to use the local language”. The first of its kind, the agreement between Formentera and Madrid’s office in the Pine Islands is aimed at creating opportunities to learn Catalan and putting the language within reach of Formentera-based officers of the Guardia Civil.

“This is a first step”, said Consellera Guasch, “but the goal is to continue adding courses at different levels, like B1 and B2”.

10 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Formentera presents arguments re: draft bill on education in Balearics

The Formentera Department of Education reports that the administration has submitted 18 separate declarations concerning the Balearic government’s draft bill on education. According to education chief Susana Labrador, the briefs, sent during a period of time set aside specifically for public comments, are aimed at not just making sure the real needs of each island are represented, but also “enriching the wording of the legislation and highlighting the significance of decisions affecting education”.

“The hand we were dealt on Formentera means our residents endure a condition of triple isolation”, said Consellera Labrador. As it was presented, the text of the draft bill makes no mention of Formentera’s “insularity” — a condition which, as far as education, infrastructure, amenities, supplies, resources and services are concerned, “has grave repercussions”, according to the comments submitted by Formentera. “Such assets, if scattered across Eivissa and Mallorca, are, on Formentera, nowhere to be found. These deficits, blind spots and needs are not going anywhere.” Formentera’s representatives say an appropriate education bill would do something to compensate the de facto isolation, like initiating a policy of grants, over and above the general system of grant moneys already in place at the regional and national levels, to benefit locally-domiciled students who study off the island.

Local decision-makers also insisted that Catalan, the native language in the Balearic Islands, be the go-to language in education — exactly as is laid out in regional legislation that was adopted on 29 April 1986.

Formentera’s representatives likewise agitated for the possibility of collaborative agreements between island governments and town councils — not just in the first stage of early-childhood education or lifelong learning for adults, but in vocational programmes as well, and special schooling arrangements that the current draft legislation ignores.

Free schooling for children under 3
Formentera’s policymakers voiced their hope that, ultimately, the legislation would make reference to the goal of removing costs for educating children under three years old. They additionally argued the bill must specifically state how much funding such a move would require and how island and town councils ought to assume the cost.

The comments also include improvements in areas such as occupational training, human resources, funding, application of the bill and student grants.

4 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Latest series of Catalan classes for Formentera adults starts 11 March

foto curs catala2The language advisory service of the Consell de Formentera is teeing up a new round of courses for adults keen to study the Catalan language. A total of seven groups will gather for classes in the morning or evening beginning 11 March. Morning classes will play out in the adult education centre, or Escola d’Adults, and evening lessons are scheduled for the secondary school, IES Marc Ferrer. Instruction will be available at the A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 levels.

The period of registration goes from 2 to 10 March and signups can be completed at no charge between 9.00am and 2.00pm at the Citizen Information Office (OAC, carrer Ramon Llull, 6).

This round of classes is meant to compliment an earlier round that took place from October to February. The latest series of classes will conclude just in time for the official tests organised in June by the language policy arm of the Balearic government.

For more information, visit the OAC or send an email to sal@conselldeformentera.cat.

3 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Alejandra Ferrer and Francina Armengol lay first stone of new school and “escoleta” in Sant Ferran

foto-primera-pedra-1-Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer and Balearic first minister Francina Armengol were joined today at noon by local and regional education chiefs Martí March and Susana Labrador, respectively, at a ceremony inaugurating construction of the new primary school and early-learning escoleta.

Also on hand for the gathering were Pilar Costa, who heads Ms Armengol’s office, provincial councillor Sílvia Tur, local vice-presidents Ana Juan and Rafael Ramírez and the Pine Islands’ envoy on education, Margalida Ferrer. Members of the school administration and the association of parents (Apima) attended too, along with representatives of various other authorities.

President Ferrer called it “an important day, because the project set in motion today —construction of two educational centres— is one islanders have clamoured for for years”. “Plus, the one-storey buildings blend in with their surroundings: they’re tailored to Formentera and learning needs here on the island.”

For her part, Armengol touted collaboration between the Consell de Formentera and Govern balear, insisting “it’s what’s behind the best ideas, like for infrastructure such as this, which ticks all the boxes for a better learning environment for our children”.

Councillor Labrador applauded the symbolism inherent in placement of the foundation stone. “It hasn’t been easy making it this far, but we can finally say with certainty that the end is in sight”, she said, applauding the local educational community for “keeping their eyes on the prize all these years” and directing a special nod at the school administration and Apima for their patience.

Armengol, Ferrer, March and Labrador signed written record of the ceremony and oversaw insertion in the building’s foundation of a time capsule — a metal urn containing coins and locally-printed newspapers of the day.

Infrastructure to accommodate 450 children at primary school and 74 at nursery

Plans were drafted by Ibisec and, in the case of the school, include two classrooms for each year level — that is, six groups for what is known in Spain as “infant education” (for children aged three to six) and twelve for primary education (ages six to twelve), accommodating a grand total of 450 pupils. The schools will occupy a 11,037-sq.-m. plot outside Sant Ferran that sits adjacent to the future municipal escoleta, which will also accommodate two groups per level (i.e., 74 children aged zero to three spread across six groups).

Money for the €5.8-million primary school will come from the Balearic ministry of education and universities, while the bill for the nursery, which tops €1.1 million, will be picked up by the Formentera government. Ibisec oversees both the project’s tender and execution of works, which must be completed in 14 months. Crews began work in August, and Mr March asserted that work would be finished within the year. “Children will finish the 2020-21 year in this school”, he said.

Tecopsa Hermanos Parrot is a temporary consortium of firms that will carry out the €6.7-million construction plans.

The Govern balear has requested support from the European Regional Development Fund’s 2014-2020 operational programme.

20 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Formentera Day Centre begins Dance Therapy

curs-dansa-tera--pia-foto-cent1Attendees of the adult care centre took part in a course on dance therapy today, marking the start of individually-tuned weekly sessions geared towards helping each of the course’s 36 participants—some seniors, some people with disabilities—no matter their particular level of functioning.

Sessions will be led by teachers from the School of Music and Dance, though a physiotherapist from the Formentera Day Centre will also be on hand helping participants to improve mobility and shaping an enriched sensorial environment using, among other things, music. Sessions last for one hour, and individuals with disabilities will meet on Thursdays, while the seniors’ group meets Fridays.

With a more complete roll-out under way following the success of a trial-run in May and June, the course has been incorporated into curriculum and will continue until July. The course happens thanks to the joint efforts of the School of Music and Dance and Day Centre, both of which operate under the umbrella of the Consell de Formentera.

16 January 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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Ens trobareu a:

Directora: Esperanza Suñer Torres
Av. de Pius Tur, s/n  · 07860
Sant Francesc · Formentera
tel. 971 32 34 15 · fax 971 32 25 83
escoleta@conselldeformentera.cat

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