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Formentera bolsters student aid amid Covid crisis

The Consell de Formentera government commission has green-lighted three proposed lines of educational assistance totalling nearly €94,000. In the words of education and culture councillor Susana Labrador, beyond traditional aid for students and families which will be issued for the 2020-2021 school year, in view of the Covid crisis, several special lines of assistance seek to offer a leg-up to crisis-hit families.

The government commission approved ten €1,250 grants for Formentera students who attended higher-education programmes in 2018-2019.

The same commission also signed off on money so local primary and secondary schools can administer the textbook reuse programme and approved direct assistance to programme participants and children from large families or single-parent homes. Seventeen individual grants for pupils enrolled during the 2019-2020 school year, as well as assistance for the island’s four public schools, pushed total aid nearly €3,000 beyond the initial €45,000.

The commission likewise ratified €33,900 for 80 grants to offset double and triple insularity (inequity due to living on an island once- and sometimes twice-removed from services) and to help students pay for off-island university, vocational training, formal education and education in the arts.

Special assistance in light of Covid crisis

Councillor Labrador said islanders would soon be able to apply for educational assistance for the 2020-2021 school year, pointing out that the traditional total of €95,500 would be more than doubled to palliate the toll of the Covid crisis. The funding will be used for the following:

- Assistance to mitigate double and triple insularity during 2020-2021 school year
- Grants for higher education in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021
- Financial assistance to purchase textbooks (as part of reuse programme) and laptops (part of digitalisation programme for year one pupils in secondary education)
- Special aid for purchase of computer equipment

According to Labrador, the lines of financial aid will be tailored for the particular situations and difficulties faced by crisis-hit families. A panel made up of educational associations has been informed of the assistance and has given them the green light. When the panel convened for its first meeting 10 November, the gathering served to bring together their proposals.

13 January 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Sant Ferran’s new school and nursery to open doors September 2021

foto 2020 nova escola 1Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer and education councillor Susana Labrador met today with Balearic premiere Francina Armengol and regional education, universities and research minister Martí March to visit the site where a new nursery (escoleta) and primary school are being built in Sant Ferran.

On hand for the visit were two of Formentera’s deputy premieres, Ana Juan and Rafael Ramírez; the Eivissa-Formentera envoy from the Balearic education ministry, Margalida Ferrer; the head of the regional planning, management and centres office, Antoni Morante; as well as representatives of the Sant Ferran school administration and parents’ association and assorted authorities.

Balearic officials said they had every indication the buildings would be operational by no later than the 2021-2022 school year.

President Ferrer described the future schools as “highly anticipated and badly needed” and applauded the local educational community’s patience waiting for the new infrastructure. “We hope that the next time we’re here will be to celebrate the opening of Sant Ferran’s new school and nursery”, she said.

Plans for the two centres were drafted by IBISEC and, in the case of the primary school, envisage ‘two-line’ facilities (tailored for 2 groups at each grade level): 6 groups of three to six year olds and 12 groups of six to twelve year olds, or 450 pupils all together. The primary school will sit atop a 11,037m2 parcel located on the outskirts of town, and just beside the future escoleta — another two-line centre designed to accommodate 74 zero to three year olds.

The comb-shaped building’s spine will run alongside a corridor that grants access to administrative offices and the school cafeteria, which will double as a welcome space for early arrivals as well as a venue for public events.

Older primary pupils will attend classes in a complex made up of three pavilions. One pavilion will house common areas like the library, computer lab, teachers’ lounge, and multipurpose and small-group room; the remaining two pavilions —buildings with a central hallway and classrooms on either side— will house the twelve upper primary classes.

A porch area connects the courtyard areas of the lower primary levels and nursery, simultaneously separating those segments of the school from the upper primary students’ courtyard. The school gymnasium is located behind these areas.

Construction of the primary school will be paid for by the Balearic Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, while construction of the municipal lower primary school will be paid for by the Consell de Formentera. The work will cost €6.7 million all told, with the Govern balear assuming €5.8 million for the school, and the Consell picking up €1.1 million for the nursery.

The Sant Ferran school currently accommodates 328 pupils and occupies a parcel which is not zoned for further expansion, hence the decision to classify the new schools as a top priority in the Balearic ministry’s 2016-2023 Educational Infrastructure Plan (PIE).

The PIE envisions similar build outs on every island in the region — part of a strategy to respond systematically and objectively to structural needs at Balearic schools.

The project is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the ERDF’s Operational Programme for 2014-2020.

18 November 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Consell offers Catalan classes to hospital staff and Guardia Civil

foto 2020 curs hospital de formenteraThe Formentera Language Advisory Service (Servei d’Assessorament Lingüístic/SAL) reports that language are back on the calendar for health workers at the Hospital de Formentera and local Guardia Civil agents. The first of two beginners’ (A2) courses is scheduled for evenings in the conference hall of the hospital, with eight students currently enrolled; classes for the second course will be held at the Guardia Civil barracks and attended by two students.

Since first partnering in November 2012 with the local hospital to propose language instruction for personnel, the Consell de Formentera has underwritten an exhaustive range of Catalan courses to help students prepare for successive exams. Put on hold in March amid the declaration of emergency orders, the current courses are geared towards the next round of Govern de les Illes Balears-announced tests in January.

Also originally scheduled for a March start, the course for the pair of Guardia Civil officers marks a first and is the product of a partnership between the Eivissa-Formentera Office of the National Administration (Administració General de l’Estat).

‘Promote knowledge and use of the local language’
Language policy chief Raquel Guasch said she was thrilled to see “the slow but steady return to normal of these classes where are designed to promote knowledge and use of Formentera’s local language among social stakeholders connected to the community”. The consellera affirmed, “We hope this initial crop of classes for Guardia Civil officers will be the first of many, and are envisioning progressively higher levels, like B1 or B2”.

Public health protocol will be respected in full, with classrooms constantly ventilated, mandatory masks for students and teachers, social distancing and, when possible, classes outdoors.

2 November 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

225 students register for Consell's Catalan courses

foto 2020 cursos catala 2The Formentera Language Advisory Service reports that 225 islanders have signed up to take part in Catalan-language courses that began this week.

During a ten-day period of early enrolment that started 15 September, 225 requests came in from islanders wishing to follow language courses at the A2, B1, B2 or C1/C2 levels.

This year to ensure compliance with capacity limitations, morning classes will be split between the Escola d’Adults and Centre d’Esports Nàutics, opposite S’Estany des Peix in La Savina. As in previous years, afternoon and evening groups will meet in three classrooms of IES Marc Ferrer, the island’s secondary school.

All students and teachers must respect sanitary protocol, including but not limited to mandatory masks whilst in class, hand-washing with hand sanitiser upon entry and social distancing. Lessons will run 45 minutes with breaks after class used to air out rooms and disinfect furniture.

The courses are designed to help students prepare for the Balearic Office of Language Policy’s September 2021 round of official exams.

6 October 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

8 October, ‘Xerrades per a famílies’ returns to take on digital addictions

cartell 2020 xerrada per a fThe Formentera Department of Social Welfare reports that 8 October will mark the return of the “Xerrades per a famílies” lecture series. Now in year three, “Family chats” benefits from the collaboration of the Association of Mothers and Fathers (Amipa) and the Federation of Parents and Pupils’ Associations (Fapa).

In the first lecture, cybersecurity specialist and speaker on cybersecurity solutions Lluís Mulero will make sense of cybersecurity and defending against digital addictions. The event starts at 5.00pm in Centre d’Esports Nàutics training room (aula de formació) in La Savina.

According to social welfare chief Rafael Ramírez, “‘Xerrades per a famílies’ are geared towards preventing problematic behaviour and supporting local families and educational staff”. Aside from tweaks to bring the lectures in line with pandemic protocol, Ramírez insisted the guiding principle remained unchanged: “As spaces where information can be shared and learning fostered, these talks aim to improve the educational process and shape strategies to promote children’s integral development”.

Tips on managing screen time at home
In addition to leading seminars in schools and institutions, Mulero is also the author of habitoscibersaludables.com, a blog where sharing best practices and tips for screen time. Sunday’s talk will offer strategies and resources to help attendees tackle screen addictions, set and stick to time limits, protect children from dangerous content and offer safeguards against cyberbullying.

Screen addiction constitutes a serious problem the  knock-on effects of which, far from simply an impaired ability to socialise, can impact academic performance. Twenty per cent of young people are thought to be affected, and the condition has ramifications that follow sufferers later in life. Known as “vamping”, technology-related disruption of rest and sleep has become one of the leading reasons for early school leaving.

Each of the “Xerrades per a famílies” sessions will take place at the CENF in La Savina. Capacity is limited and spaces can be reserved by emailing educaciosocial@conselldeformentera.cat or phoning 971.32.12.71.

2 October 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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