Is there a crisis in Education?

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WHAT’S going on with the schools in Mallorca? In my daughter’s year two of her friends have either moved or are going to move schools imminently.

 And they aren’t the first kids in our lovely little school that haven’t been able to cope in the Spanish system and have been moved. In another school the 12 year old son of a friend of mine is being treated for depression along with some of his class mates. It seems as if the school system is breaking down and failing some of these children. For now my own big little girl seems to be okay, but she is terribly sad to see two of her oldest and best friends moving. Is there something so different in the Spanish style of teaching that our delicate British sensibilities can’t cope with it? I wish I was nine so I could sit in the classroom myself and find out.

Is it all a coincidence or is this connected to the collapse of the TIL three language system? What should have been a modern method of teaching didn’t get the support it needed, either from the education department who should have put in the resources needed, nor by many of the teachers who insisted that they should be teaching in Catalan only. And what about the coming elections? Do they in some way inform the teaching methods and teachers’ behaviour in the classroom? I am hearing story after story of non-Spanish resident children being discriminated against because Catalan is not their first language.

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Personally I’ve often wondered about the intelligence of making these children whose first language is English sit through basic lessons in that language along with their Spanish counterparts who are learning a third language (don’t forget these kids already are expected to speak Catalan and Castillian), wouldn’t it make much more sense to allow our English speaking children to have extra lessons in Catalan in that time whilst their Mallorcan class mates get the “Cat sat on the mat” sessions?

It’s all very worrying, are we a special breed of tax paying second class citizens: unable to vote or have a voice, our kids pushed down repeatedly because they aren’t natural born locals? Whatever the reason there’s a growing mistrust of the school system. But what are the alternatives? Private school: expensive. Home schooling: illegal.

Are our expectations too high or is the system failing our children? I would love to know your thoughts. You can contact me via www.familymattersmallorca.com or the Euro Weekly News.

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