This week, it’s Back to School again for Spanish youngsters. After a break of almost three months, Primary and Secondary School students are once again packing their school satchels and making their way to their Guardería, their Escoleta, their Colegio Público, their Instituto or even, their Universidad, at least here in Mallorca. 148,000 plus youngsters will start their new academic year either today or sometime over the next few days, here in Mallorca, and that figure does not include the under-6s, nor the university students who will start their trimestre in early October.
I am an ardent upholder of the Spanish educational system. When we came to live in Spain, we had three small children and school education was a long way off. But within a very short time, we asked ourselves if we wanted our children to have an expats’ life experience, or whether we wanted them to integrate and be at home in the language, the culture and the education of the country that we had made our home. We decided that we wanted our children to speak the local language, to have friends their age amongst our neighbours and not to live life in a ghetto. We subscribed the little ones to a nursery run by nuns and had the offspring learn Mallorquín. Believe me if I say that we have never looked back. Our three learned their 3Rs in Educación Primaria and had their ESO and Bachillerato here in Felanitx. After obtaining their Bachiller, the two girls went to pass their Selectivitat in Manacor, whilst the youngest, a boy, opted for a Formación Profesional. The girls then went on to university in the UK, in Brighton, where they had excellent results, including a First for one of them and a 2.1 for the second. The boy stopped school at age 18 and started working but, is now back at school doing an FP Superior. He’s done 2 years already and is about to start his third and final year, again, achieving good to very good results. I can not imagine that the youngsters would have done any better back home, and I certainly do not think that they would have done any better at any of the local International Schools of which there are a few in Palma.
The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 27th, 2010. The time was 19:18:23. The cheerful Persianas shown belong to the Escoleta de Sa Torre in Felanitx, catering for young ones from 0 to 3 years.