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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.

New round of educational grants in Formentera

nenes webIn a press conference held this morning, councilor of Education, Culture and Local Patrimony of the Formentera Island Council, Sònia Cardona, rolled out the list of educational subsidies available in Formentera. Comprising the list is a combined total of 104,750€ in financial aid.

The aid includes money for textbook purchases for early-childhood, primary and secondary studies. Some of this money is directly available to the families of students while another portion comes in the form of grants for public schools. Additional assistance – in the form of travel cost reimbursements and scholarships – is also available to students of technical programmes, university degrees, or other higher education options.

Help with textbook purchases
Government assistance is available both to those educational centres on the island that implement the textbook re-use programme and to Formentera students of early-childhood, primary and secondary education. Several Formentera schools submitted applications for just this sort of assistance, and what resulted was a proposed financial aid package that allocated 70€ per student toward the purchase of primary school textbooks, and 90€ per student for students of the IES Marc Ferrer high school. As for individually-requested assistance packages, families with students in early-childhood education will have 50% of their total textbook bill covered by financial subsidies, while members of both large families and single-parent families will receive assistance covering 100% of their textbook bills.

The Formentera Council has allocated 60,000€ for this year's package of educational subsidies. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis; the objective being to promote solidarity and a cooperative use of textbooks and learning material in the different courses of mandatory education.

Textbook assistance is given chiefly to boost the Council's participation in the fund for used textbooks in public schools. It is also a way to maintain subsidies for households with the 'large' and 'single-parent' status.

Formentera is among the islands in the Balearics with the highest participation in the textbook re-use programme. Last year, 497 students from primary schools in La Mola, Sant Ferran, Sant Francesc and the island's secondary school took part. All four of Formentera's public primary schools have signed on to the programme, and in the case of CP Sant Ferran, student participation is 100%.

These educational subsidies can be requested on-line on the Formentera Island Council's website, www.consellinsulardeformentera.cat, or in person at the Citizen Information Office (Oficina d'Atenció Ciutadana, or OAC) until 21 May.

Educational grants and travel subsidies
Students currently in university or post-graduate programmes in places other than Formentera can request financial aid for travel costs and in the form of educational grants. A total of 36,000€ is available for individual assistance in the form of travel subsidies and 8,750€ for seven educational grants for university students.

The per student sum of aid for travel costs is 450€ for those students attending university outside the Pitiüsa Islands and 150€ for students of universities in Eivissa. Included in this category are all those students attending university, participating in technical programmes and completing A-levels (baccalaureate) in Art. In the year 2013 a total of 89 students availed to these subsidies: 12 who were studying in Eivissa and the remainder studying outside the Pitiüses.

The Office of Culture awards a total of 8,750€ in the form of educational scholarships to cover tuition and materials, in this way fomenting the pursuit of higher education among Formentera youth and contributing to their professional training. The scholarships are 1,250€ each and are given based on family income and academic performance. In 2013 applicants totalled 32. More information about these financial aid options can be found on the Council's website, www.consellinsulardeformentera.cat and applications will be accepted by the Citizen Information Office (OAC) until 21 May.

Formentera's Office of Education continues working to establishing ways to compensate for the educational isolation affecting island residents, correcting inequalities and imbalances between students from Formentera and those from the rest of the autonomous community and Spanish territory.

8 March, Day of the Woman

Diadeladona2014 web

Over time the month of March has come to be recognised by the women of Formentera as a month of celebration, bringing with it as it does International Working Women's Day, 8 March. The women of Formentera come out strong in their yearly recognition of this important date, a moment dedicated to mass mobilisation and the struggle to end the discrimination that translates into an unequal access to resources still today.

Once again, the Espai Dones Association, with the collaboration of Formentera's offices of Equality and Culture, has prepared activities for the entire month of March. Starting on the 3rd and extending all the way through the 23rd, this year's activities are reflective in nature. The month-long activities programme runs the gamut; from a photo exhibition by Isa Sanz and storytelling by Encarna de las Heras, to a reading of the manifesto representing the day's founding ideals and – an extremely important event for the aged community of Formentera – the sixth annual homage to elderly women, a celebration of the history of women in Formentera.

Opening the programme schedule, on 8 March, a reading of the day's manifesto is organised for the Plaça de la Constitució. Also on this date: Un hilito, a theatrical presentation by Inés Sarmiento that combines theatre, dance and audiovisual productions.

The remaining cultural acts, all of which place the woman at the forefront, vary from a projection of the film Cider House Rules; a conference on 11 March entitled “Eva al desnudo: parlem sobre l'autoestima” (All about Eve: Talking about self-esteem) and “En busca de la felicitat: per on començam?” (In pursuit of happiness: where do we start?), the latter scheduled to close out the programme of activities on 24 March. Both conferences will be led by the psychologist Anna Costa and will be held at the Plenary Hall of the Formentera Island Council. The list of events would of course not be complete without storytelling by Encarna de las Heras (15 March) or, that same evening, the traditional sisterhood supper for all those women – Espai Dones members or otherwise – who wish to participate.

The events programme was made possible by the Espai Dones Association, which devotes efforts year after year to the celebration of the International Working Women's Day and the International Day against Domestic Violence. These dates mark relevant moments in women's fight for effective equality and empowerment. Mainly, the celebrations organised around 8 March represent an important push for the defence and awareness of women's rights.

Formentera's Espai Dones Association
Espai Dones Formentera is a not-for-profit women's association. It was founded 5 March 2007 by a group of women who had for many years organised events for 8 March, International Working Women's Day.

The association's purpose is to promote gender equality and provide women with counsel, as well as organise workshops and events that are both educational and fun. It is a space to meet, dialogue, foster an environment of social well-being and collaborate with other local associations on the official commemoration of important moments in the struggle for equality.

Given the high-quality and nobility of the association's work, since last year an accord has officially linked Espai Dones with the Formentera Council, facilitating and formalising a relationship that had steadily evolved since the inception of the Council. Both entities are extremely active on issues of awareness and reflection, but also, from a legal standpoint, both recognise the important role of pressing charges in cases of abuse and discrimination, continuously moving forward in actively involving our society on this issue.

The Office of Equality believes support of gender-based initiatives to be vitally important, especially considering the oppressive atmosphere of cutbacks that has taken its toll on equality policies and, as an extension, increased risks for women and their children.

Any and all women in Formentera who wish to take part in Espai Dones can send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Working year-round for the empowerment of women
The Office of Social Welfare oversees the management of two fundamental services for the women of Formentera, the first being immediate support for victims of domestic violence and the second – complementary and of unqualified importance – equal-rights training and domestic violence prevention. The support service for domestic abuse victims comprises immediate attention, mentoring and on-going support for the victims during periods of vulnerability. This service uses tools like the emergency telephone line (24 hours/day) and relies on a close coordination with the Guardia Civil. The service also includes home-visits when an immediate separation of the victim and aggressor is necessary. This is overseen in collaboration with the Eivissa Women's Office. Additionally, a therapeutic psychologist service is provided in cases of necessity, as is a service offering legal counsel.

We believe that equal-rights training is a very important factor in domestic violence prevention. For this reason the Office of Equality works closely with the Office of Culture in the realisation of communicative actions to generate social change and promote advancements in gender equality. We believe that every woman must attain a certain level of empowerment in order to defend herself and prevent domestic violence from taking place, especially on an island as pluralistic and diverse as ours.

Formentera youth join call to reject petroleum explorations

jovesdiuen NO webLast Friday, a small group of pupils from IES Marc Ferrer (secondary school), joined by the school's director, Raquel Guasch, met with Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer and councillor of Education and Culture Sònia Cardona to deliver more than 200 signatures from residents of the island who oppose plans to explore for petrol on the Gulf of Valencia and west coast of the Pitiüsa Islands. The act, mostly symbolic, was part of an effort by Formentera students to give the youth of the island a voice in the issues that affect them.

The idea came from the students themselves. After witnessing outreach work done by the school's environmental commission – la Comissió de Medi Ambient –, a group of students at the high school, acutely aware of their right to take part in the discussions that affect the future of their island, decided to take action. Although not yet old enough to vote, the students wished to manifest their rejection of the seismic drilling plans and join the growing collective of more than 2,500 Formentera residents who have already voiced their opposition.

For its part, the Council committed to delivering the signed petitions to the Ministry of the Environment and Industry, thus making the opinions of Formentera youth known to those with decision-making power.

In addition to the Council's absolute support of the youth initiative, in the final trimester of 2013 the administration also ratified the constitution of the recently-formed local youth council, El Consell de Participació Infantil i Juvenil. The youth council was envisioned as an advisory body whose role it would be to provide a voice to Formentera youth as well as promote their active participation in local politics. Giving youth a voice, it was reasoned, would be the first step to considering that voice in the decision-making process.

This month's plenary session of the Formentera Island Council will raise that very issue and introduce a proposal to declare Formentera a UNICEF Child-friendly City. If approved, such a declaration would stand to certify that the municipality of Formentera upholds the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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Gabinet de Premsa
Cap de Comunicació i Premsa
Sr. Isidor Torres
Tel. 971 32 23 09
premsa@conselldeformentera.cat