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Statement from the Formentera Island Council concerning the sentences handed down by the TSJIB with respect to the TIL

In light of the three sentences, issued 22 September 2014, by the Contentious Administrative Hall of the Balearic Islands Superior Court of Justice declaring null and void Decree 15/2013 [19 April] which regulates the use of languages at non-university educational centres in the Balearic Islands (known as Decret TIL), and in light of the sentence issued on the present date, which declares null and void the order that established the implementation of the Decret TIL, the Formentera Island Council wishes to state the following:

1. The court rulings, in addition to nullifying the Decret TIL, state that application of the decree “is of considerable significance for the Catalan language because it effects an undermining of the use of Catalan in the educational process and a reduction in the use of Catalan in teaching.” The sentence (number 443) continues: “...from this perspective, if it is the duty of the public administration to ensure linguistic normalisation in the Balearic Islands, a change from a bilingualist to trilingualist educational model, whose objective it is that the citizens of tomorrow achieve a total and perfect command of three languages – the two official languages and one foreign, this a response to recommendations by the European Union as well as to the undeniable fact that European citizens are at present obliged a certain familiarity with the language of greatest influence in the European context – must also surely impact the process of linguistic normalisation.”

2. The TSJIB ruling finds that insofar as the Catalan language and its normalisation in the educational context is affected, the Decret TIL impacts the assessorial and preceptive functions assigned to the Universitat de les Illes Balears by article 35 of the Balearic Islands Statute of Autonomy.

3. The rulings issued by the TSJIB find that Decree 15/2013 [19 April] (Decret TIL), which regulates the use of languages at non-university educational centres in the Balearic Islands, as well as the secondary order establishing the implementation of that decree, contained neither the scientific, nor the academic, nor the pedagogical consideration required of such a decree.

4. The Formentera Island Council, as manifested on numerous occasions through plenary accords and through its participation in the Consell Escolar de les Illes Balears (Academic Council of the Balearic Islands), opposed the development of the TIL, its lack of necessary financial support –a fact also mentioned in the TSJIB sentences–, and the precipitated manner in which the new linguistic projects were imposed on educational centres. Moreover, the Formentera Island Council holds firm in its conviction that no change to the educational model shall be imposed if it is detrimental to the process of linguistic normalisation of the language of the Balearic Islands, nor shall a change be imposed if it represents an aggression to the agents comprising the educational system. The future of our students is too important, and the autonomy of our educational centres and that of their respective academic councils -the most informed parties with respect to local linguistic circumstances- must be respected.

5. It is therefore our conviction that the sentences handed down today and yesterday by the TSJIB are an opportunity for the Govern Balear to reflect and reconsider its decisions in a manner that values consensus.

Radio stations and other comments: Sònia Cardona, councillor of Education of the Formentera Council, 666155829

Array of Catalan courses for range of levels

cursos catalaThe Formentera Council, by way of its Linguistic Assessment Service, has opened enrolment for a series of Catalan courses to be given at the local Escola d'Adults (school for adults). Enrolment ends 3 October, just a few days before the first classes are scheduled to begin.

The classes were created with the goal of making Catalan study available to anyone interested. During the 2013-2014 academic calendar, the number of students attending classes or having attended at some point reached one hundred twenty. Students can enrol at the Citizen Information Office (la OAC) or either one of the Linguistic Assessment Service's two information points, located at the office of culture and the Escola d'Adults.

This year, there are a total of nine Catalan courses available. Timetables vary from morning to evening and all language levels are offered. The beginner's level course (A2) will be divided into three different groups as will Intermediate Catalan (B1-B2). Advanced Catalan (C1-C2) will be split into two different groups, and a conversation group will also be organised. The most exciting change this year is the coordination between the Linguistic Assessment Service and the school for adults.

The anticipated timetables for the different courses are as follows: Elementary Catalan (A2), Mondays and Wednesdays, [1] 5:15-6:15pm or [2] 8:15-9:15pm; or Tuesdays and Thursdays, [3] 9:15-10:15am. Intermediate Catalan – a combination of both the B1 and B2 levels – will be offered either as a mixed-level group Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:15-7:15pm, or as two split groups: (B1) Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:15-11:15am; and (B2) 11:15am-12:15pm.

As for the two mixed-level C1-C2 courses, they will be given Mondays and Wednesdays, 7:15-8:15pm, or Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:15-1:15pm. Finally, the conversation group will meet Wednesdays from 9:15-10:15am.

All of the courses are free, and, depending on the group, will start on either 6 or 7 October, while end dates are contingent upon the official testing schedules dictated by the Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics. At the present moment, two rounds of official Catalan exams are anticipated: one in February and one in May, 2015.

Sa Miranda nursery school kicks off 2014-15 academic year with new classroom and 58 new students

Escoleta2014 aula novaSa Miranda nursery school (known commonly as l'escoleta) which falls under the administration of the Formentera Island Council's office of education, opened its doors this morning to pupils and proceeded through the first day of the 2014-2015 school year without a hitch.

For 58 pupils, today was the first day of classes ever. Counting the centre's 40 returning students, Sa Miranda will take in a total of 98 students the 2014-15 academic year. The Sa Miranda centre is composed of one classroom for newborns, three classrooms for ages 1-2 and three for 2-3 year olds.

This year's enrolment figures represent an increase of 18 pupils compared to last year (when a total of 80 were registered). The increase was made possible thanks to remodel work performed at the school in July and August. The changes – a new classroom, a new cafeteria and a more hygienic vinyl flooring in the centre's oldest classrooms, as well as general maintenance and a new paint job – have left Sa Miranda shining. The total cost of these improvements was 90,000€.

With teacher-pupil ratios unchanged, the physical remodel of Sa Miranda is not expected to negatively impact the quality of education there. To ensure this continued quality, the Council of Formentera has hired two new educators, bringing the total number of teachers at the centre to twelve.

Sa Miranda nursery school is an educational centre belonging to the network of public nurseries in the Balearic Islands. The pedagogy employed at the school -and the style of organisation- are founded on the principle of the right of the child to receive an education that is constructed around his real needs (physical, psychological, emotional, personal, intellectual, social, etc.)

It is the hope of the educational staff at Sa Miranda that the centre be a place of mutual respect for different cultures, non-discriminatory and democratic, where equal opportunities are promoted for all pupils and full respect is given the surrounding natural, social and cultural environments.

The Formentera Island Council devotes a substantial part of the office of education's annual budget to the administration of the Sa Miranda nursery school. Yearly funding for the centre tops 460,000€, and the largest portion of that amount goes to staff hiring. In 2013, the Formentera Island Council received 3,733.26€ from the Govern Balear in Palma for maintenance of public centres of early education like Sa Miranda.

UIB's summer session makes cameo in Formentera

univ estiuThis morning in Formentera, Sònia Cardona, Formentera's councillor of culture, and Gemma Tur, coordinator of the graduate studies programme at the Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB) in Formentera, unveiled details about the XIII annual Escola d'Estiu a Eivissa i Formentera, a summer session of university courses serving residents of the Pitiüsa Islands.

New this year, collaboration between UIB and Formentera's office of culture on a course titled Introducció al Llenguatge Cinematogràfic a Formentera (Introduction to Cinematographic Language in Formentera) has led to what will be the first ever locally-imparted session of the course, set to take place on 6 September.

Councillor Cardona hailed the fact that “opportunities like this bring the UIB closer to Formentera, and puts the University within the reach of people here.” She also highlighted other similar programmes – a university for the elderly and a recently constructed videoconference room – that were conceived as ways for Formentera students to participate in university studies.

Gemma Tur stated: “This year's Formentera class session can be regarded in either one of two ways: as a free-of-charge university-level conference, or as just one element of what is in fact a five-day course in cinema and cinematographic language.”

The class will be held at the hall of ceremonies (sala d'actes) of the offfice of culture from 10 am to 2 pm. Leading the session, Joan Marí, screenplay writer, producer and founding member of the production company Incortum and Enrique Villalonga, director, screenplay writer, producer and founder/director of the Filmotica production company.

Marí's segment of the class will cover writing techniques and screenplay analysis while Villalonga's will focus on syntax and cinematographic narrative. Closing the joint lecture, a screening of the Villalonga-directed film “El hijo del taxidermista” (The Taxidermist's Son) followed by a debate.

The 6 September session is one of five different conference-style classes comprising the XIII Universitat d'Estiu d'Eivissa i Formentera summer programme, a five-day series scheduled for 8 to 12 September.

Enrolment – cost-free – will only be required in the case of those participants that wish to obtain a certificate of attendance. To enrol, interested individuals can call 971.39.80.20.

For additional information, contact Sònia Cardona at 666.15.58.29.

Summer school students close out 2014 session with a bang

escola estiuRollicking games. Eager kids. Proud parents and teachers. All were present yesterday in Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran, where a joint celebration between local schools marked the end of the 2014 summer school session.

This year the Formentera Summer School opened its doors to 160 boys and girls aged 3 to 12 and split activities between three local schools: Sant Francesc, Sant Ferran and La Mola. Included among the programme's staff of professionals was one head counsellor, twenty-two day camp counsellors and – for students with special learning needs – one instructor certified in Special Education.

Dolores Fernández Tamargo, councillor of Social Welfare and Youth Services, was on hand at the final closing ceremony that was celebrated at Sant Francesc's Mestre Lluís Andreu Primary School. She saluted the fact that the Formentera Summer School programme “gives boys and girls a fun, educational place to be in summer. It's also extremely important that the programme provide options for working families. For the majority of households in Formentera, summer is the busiest time of year.”

This year's activities were all conceived as extensions of the same unifying theme: “Time-travellers”. Students tread a path through different periods in Western history, with perspectives that were at times local and at times global. According to councillor Fernández Tamargo, the goal was to “impart a respect for diversity of customs, ways of thought and forms of expression. Parting from a place of tolerance and learning, we wanted to come away with raised awareness regarding the importance of cooperation and harmonious living between different cultures.”

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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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