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Consell de Formentera releases info sheet re: Internet access possibilities on island

The Formentera Departments of Education and New Technologies have unveiled an informational poster highlighting possibilities for Internet connectivity on Formentera. The document was designed to give primary and secondary schools information that teachers could pass along to parents in an effort to ensure pupils have Internet access while kept at home by the state of alarm.

cartell 2020 acces internet covid1

How can we get Internet access for our children?

If you don’t have Internet and you’d like to, there are a number ways to get connected, whether you live in town or out in the countryside.

1) Do you have a cable connection and/or a landline?

Then most likely you can get a fibre optic or ADSL connection. Multiple companies offer the service; if phone them and tell them your address, they’ll advise you on the best option, cost and how long it will take to get set up.

2) Your house can’t get cable or fibre optic? Or you prefer not to instal a cable Internet connection?

2.1 Do you have a mobile phone and get good service (signal reception) where you live?

As long as reception is good where you live, all you need is a mobile phone with a contract for data service or with a SIM card equipped for data service. If they let you share data via Wi-Fi, you’re all set. No installation is necessary. It’s important you contact your service provider so you can review your options and find out about conditions concerning data use.

2.2 You don’t have a mobile phone, but service where you live is good.

You can connect to Internet with a SIM card and a 4G modem. No installation is necessary. You don’t even need a contract; prepaid services work, too. Prices vary per data use.

2.3 Reception is bad were you live?

You also have the options of a wireless radio-wave (WiMAX) connection and satellite connection. For these services you’ll need to contact a WiMAX or satellite Internet service provider. They’ll advise you about the best option, prices and how long it will take to get set up.

How can we help our neighbours’ children get Internet?

If you live in a building in town, your Internet connection might be useful to your neighbours’ children.

How do you do it?

Don’t set a password on your home Wi-Fi connection and configure it so others can connect.
If you know your neighbours don’t have a connection of their own —and you think they may be able to use one for schoolwork, email, online platforms and a bit of daily entertainment— give them your password.

And what if families can’t afford an Internet connection?

Contact the Formentera Department of Social Welfare (Benestar Social) via phone or email: 971 32 12 71 / benestarsocial@conselldeformentera.cat

7 April 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Nurseries launch Facebook profile

foto 2020 casal escoletes covid 2The Consell de Formentera reports that municipal nurseries Escoleta de Sa Miranda and Escoleta del Camí Vell have created a Facebook profile to keep in touch with parents during the state of alarm and offer ideas for keeping homebound young ones occupied amid the temporary shuttering of schools. The island’s youth drop-in centre has adopted a similar strategy as well, using its Instagram account to spotlight proposed Casal de Joves activities over the Internet. Another municipal handle being leveraged to deal with the current situation is the Instagram account of Formentera Marxa, which, together with a newly christened Facebook profile aimed at reaching ever more islanders, has become a clearing house of games and entertainment for followers.

During the state of alarm, the various arms of the Formentera government have adapted and rallied around a common goal: to create new channels of information and strengthen ones already in place in an effort to help islanders through isolation. Last Friday, the Consell de Formentera unveiled its “Formentera es queda a casa” [Formentera is staying home] profile on Facebook, sharing entertaining content in an bid to make confinement more bearable.

25 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Closure of Formentera escoletes

The Consell de Formentera reports that the island’s early-childhood learning centres —escoletes— will close their doors for two weeks from Monday 16 March. It is the latest in a line of precautionary measures aimed at local containment of Covid-19, following on the heels of the Govern balear’s announcement it will suspend on-site learning at the pre-K, primary and secondary levels as well as the University of the Balearic Islands. Accredited instruction at the Formentera School of Music will also be suspended from Monday.

Children will be received tomorrow, Friday 13 March, at Formentera’s two escoletes, though parents and guardians who are able to avoid leaving their young ones at school are encouraged to do so. The president once again voiced her hope that “calm minds prevail during this exceptional situation” and appealed anew to islanders’ sense of “personal responsibility in minimising risky behaviour and protecting our most vulnerable”.

12 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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

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