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Education

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.”

Council bemoans missed opportunity by Govern to speed up construction of new Sant Ferran school

escolasferranThe Formentera Council, via its office of education and culture and councillor Sònia Cardona, expressed disappointment about “the great opportunity that the Govern Balear missed by not moving forward with plans to build the new Sant Ferran primary school.” Cardona's comments came just after an announcement last week by the regional autonomous government that it would apply a plan to improve the educational infrastructure that exists in the Balearics.

Drafted with the goal of improving the quality of educational facilities, the improvement plan (Pla de millora d'infraestructures educatives) is backed by a budget of 27.7 million euros, a credit line provided by the European Investment Bank.

Councillor Cardona's disappointment came upon inspection of the third item on the plan of action – improvement projects and new facilities construction. “We expected to see a clear reference made to the Sant Ferran school, but instead we saw five and a half million euros for a early-childhood and primary education centre [known as CEIP for centre educatiu infantil i primària] in Campos, three million for the remodel of a CEIP in Manacor and two million for improvements to the CEIP in Bunyola.

Cardona highlighted the fact that construction at “the three schools mentioned in the improvement plan is scheduled to be completed in 2016. Given the fact that Formentera does not even appear in the text of the plan, we can assume that construction in Sant Ferran might be delayed considerably.” According to Cardona, “the Department of Education of the Govern Balear would have had us believe that the [Sant Ferran] school's construction was imminent. However, the reality is that the project does not even exist. The omission of Formentera in the Pla de millora d'infraestructures educatives indicates that construction will most likely not begin within this legislative session.”

Cardona reminds us that at the most recent debate (held in June) in which the state of the island was discussed, all of the political groups on the Council agreed to urge the regional government in Palma to accelerate construction of the Sant Ferran school. The Council has already located and turned over land for the new school, and these parcels have already been doted with the infrastructure necessary to proceed with construction.

Start of lecture series at open university for seniors

This Friday, 23 May, at 5:30pm, the Sant Francesc Retirees Club will kick off a new round of conferences and lectures as part of the Universitat Oberta de Majors (open university for the aged).

The lecture series is an educational project conceived to serve Formentera's elderly population and born of the belief that any time in life is the right time to educate oneself; that – where learning is concerned – it's never too late.

This year's inaugural conference carries the title “L'obesitat, un problema genètic o estil de vida?” (Obesity, a question of genetics or lifestyle?) and will be given by Joana Sánchez, professor of Fundamental Biology and Health Sciences of the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB).

PROGRAMME
Universitat Oberta per a Majors (UOM), Formentera
Conference Series 2014
23 May 2014, start of series, 5pm.
●23 May. L'obesitat: un problema genètic o d'estil de vida? (Obesity: a question of genetics or lifestyle?) moderated by Dr. Catalina Picó.
●13 June. Llinatges i malnoms de les Pitiüses: origen i curiositats lingüístiques. (Family names and nicknames in the Pitiüses: origins and linguistic curiosities) moderated by Mr. Joan-Albert Ribas.
●26 September. Però, què fa el banc amb els meus diners? (But, what does the bank do with my money?) moderated by Dr. Bartolomé Deyà.
●17 October. La geologia de les Pitiüses (The geology of the Pitiüsa Islands) moderated by Mr. Luis Alberto Tostón.
●7 November. El poblament de les Illes Pitiüses: una perspectiva contemporània sobre un element ben dinàmic. (Demographics in the Pitiüsa Islands: a contemporary look at a dynamic element) moderated by Mr. Maurici Cuesta.
●28 November. Apunts sobre història del teatre. (Notes on the history of theatre) moderated by Mr. Vicent Ferrer.
28 November 2014, closing lecture, 5pm.

Locations
●Sant Francesc de Formentera: 23 May, 26 September and 7 November.
Retirees' and Pensioners' Club of Sant Francesc. Carrer de sa Senieta, s/n.
●Sant Ferran de ses Roques: 13 June, 17 October and 28 November.
Sant Ferran Social Centre for the Elderly.
Carrer de València, s/n.

Time: 5 – 6:30pm

Final weekend for current La Mola senior centre location

centre social mola placaNext Saturday, 31 May, at seven in the evening, the new Casa del Poble in La Mola will open its doors to the public.

The more than 300 square metre space will house a senior centre in addition to serving as a meeting space for the different associations located there (local festival organisational boards along with neighbourhood, hunting and artisan associations).

The locale contains a computer centre equipped with ten computer stations as well as an already-functional group of post office boxes. The evening's activities will be open to everyone: whether residents of La Mola or not.

Registration begins for Sa Miranda infant nursery school's 2014/15 school year

escoleta webThis May, Formentera families interested in applying for a spot in the Sa Miranda nursery school can contact the Citizen Information Office of the Formentera Island Council, Monday through Saturday (from 9 am to 2 pm) to process all the required documentation.

The admissions and registration process opens 5 May and closes on 16 May. Upon conclusion of this process, the provisional list of admitted students will be published 5 June and, once all grievances have been attended, registration will be finalised between 23 and 25 June.

This year 40 spots are available for children in the first cycle of nursery education (from 0 to 3), four more than the previous academic course. To these available spaces, we must also take into account 32 children aged 1-2 and 8 newborns that already have spaces in Sa Miranda, which brings the total to 80 pupils, a figure which could later change according to the distribution of specific groups.
Once registration applications have been received, the school itself will be charged with distributing applicant students across different groups in the interest of finding spaces for the maximum number of children.

Spaces must be requested during the established period, providing documentation containing the child's date of birth along with other documents and requirements necessary to the evaluation process. We remind readers that the Sa Miranda school is dependent on the Formentera Council and meets all of the necessary requirements in order to operate as an educational centre providing the first cycle of nursery education.

EIP Sa Miranda (from the acronym for Escola Infantil i Primària) currently has on its staff nine educators and one teacher, and, as the sole public nursery school on the island, it gives an extremely comprehensive and flexible educational service, adapted to the learning needs of the population of Formentera.

Admission criteria
By law, the centre must reserve at least one spot in each group for students with special needs in educational support and in situations of social/legal vulnerability.

When applications outnumber spaces available, they are scored and ordered by the centre's School Council according to the criteria established by the Regional Ministry of Education and Culture of the Balearic Islands. Priority criteria include: presence of other siblings already attending the school, family income, existing disabilities in the student, parent, legal guardian or other siblings.

Complementary criteria include: status as a single-parent family, cases of one-parent custody, the student's suffering a chronic disease, or presence of multiple-births siblings.

All of the relevant information can be consulted on the Council of Formentera's website at www.consellinsulardeformentera.cat, or by calling the Office of Education and Culture at 971.32.12.75.

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