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17 – 21 December, Diverespai offers fun play opportunities for children

foto diverespai 2010This year for the week immediately preceding Christmas day, the Formentera Council's office of youth services has organised Diverespai. With a host of different activities and inflatable games, the installation is a favourite for children ages 3 to 12.

The supervised play activities at Diverespai will run from 17 to 21 December, from half-past nine in the morning to half-past one at midday and then again in the afternoon from four to eight. The temporary set-up will be mounted next to the sports facilities at the IES Marc Ferrer secondary school and a staff of day counsellors will be on hand to assure the safety of all. The first three days of the week will be reserved for visits from Formentera schools.

Inflatable toys at Diverespai range from castles, giant animals, staircases, nets and obstacles – all devised to make the course more exciting. Staff on site will also lead different themed workshops like face-painting and arts & crafts.

UNICEF grants Formentera seal of 'Child-friendly City'

consell joventut2The reward at the end of a long road, Formentera has at last received the recognition of UNICEF's Child-friend City programme (CFC), an initiative whose objective it is to promote local application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and at the same time support the joint efforts of the different municipalities that boast the distinction.

The decision to bestow the island with the UNICEF programme's quality seal came after a round of assessment -which takes place only once every two years- determined Formentera to be eligible. An evaluation committee traveled to the island in September in order to establish whether the projects overseen by the Council met with the programme's criteria.

Among other factors, the committee took into account the active inclusion of children in the political process, the routine creation of local youth plans, and the promotion of policies that benefit children. The UNICEF seal will be awarded 7 November in a ceremony to take place in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The distinction is a nod for all of the work that the Formentera Council has conducted in support of children and adolescents. In 2012, the Comité Balear of UNICEF provided the Formentera Office of Youth Services with an acknowledgement of good practises as part of the fourth annual call to recognise promotion of rights of the child and effective local policy. The evaluation applauded local efforts to promote equality, the work of Formentera's youth council, and the efforts of the “Es Molí” Social Centre.

The decision to grant this most-recent accolade was announced 17 October, when the Formentera Council learned it would join the councils of Eivissa, Maó and Santanyí on the list of Balearic municipalities to receive the honour in 2014. A total of 119 municipalities in Spain have been awarded the 'Child-friendly City' distinction.

The jury that grants the title is formed by the Spanish chapter of UNICEF, the Spanish Department of Health, Social Services and Equality, the Federation of Spanish Municipalities and Provinces and the University Institute of Needs and Rights of Children and Adolescents.  

“A source of great motivation to continue in the struggle for youth rights”

Formentera's councillor of social welfare and youth services, Dolores Fernández Tamargo, hailed the distinction as “a source of great motivation to continue in the struggle for youth rights, not to mention proof of the work done by the adult population of Formentera to support its children and adolescents, the future of this island.”

According to Councillor Fernández, “not only does the UNICEF jury's ruling applaud the creation of the local youth council, it also acknowledges a host of other projects presented as part of the Formentera Council's bid, including both past efforts and projects that are envisioned for the 2014-2018 period.”

Councillor Fernández thanked the workers of local social services and educational institutions, and in particular acknowledged the important work being done by Formentera's primary schools and secondary school, before also recognising “the task of my colleagues in the public administration who have been so invested in the project.”

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

FiC to put Ca ses Ferreres terrain up for auction

cases Ferreres 1The Formentera Council has decided to sell the terrain known as 'Ca ses Ferreres' by public auction. Both the land and the house constructed thereupon, located in El Pilar de la Mola, are property of the Council. The auction can take place only after notice is given in the Official Bulletin of the Balearic Islands (BOIB) and, following this, once a two-month wait period has elapsed. Publication of such a notice in the BOIB is expected to happen in the coming days.

The decision was made in light of the fact that the terrain is neither associated with any public service nor is it expected to be in the near future. The home at 'Ca ses Ferreres' is on rural land and has neither water, electricity nor sewage service.

According to economic services of Formentera Council, sale of 'Ca ses Ferreres' is the most adequate solution given the advanced state of degradation of the house.

Appraisal of all the 'Ca ses Ferreres' property, the house and the plots located thereupon – which consist of some 15,000 square metres – was conferred to TINSA Ltd. The total value was set at €429,615.15.

The property was already put up for public tender once in December 2013 following the same procedure, at which time an estimated value of €529,606.20 was given.

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