Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Eskola and Ikastola

We have learned that in the Basque Country there are three linguistic models within the Eskola (state schools): A - in Spanish with Basque and English as subjects; B - with Spanish and Basque given equal status and English taught as a subject; D - Immersion in Basque with Spanish and English being taught as a subject.

There are also Ikastola schools. This type of school has evolved from the time when Euskara was outlawed under Franco´s dictatorship. Children were taught in any available accommodation, i.e. flats and houses, often by unqualified teachers. They operate as independent co-operatives within a federation of other Ikastolas, including within the French Basque community. Although Euskara is allowed as a medium of instruction here, the final exams have to be taken in French.

We also learned about staff-pupil ratios in the Eskola. These ratios can vary according to age and geographical area but are usually 1 teacher to 8 pupils at age 0-2. At age 2 the ratio is 1:18, at ages 3-5 the ratio is 1:23 and at ages 6-12 it is 1:25. For every 6 classes, 7 teachers are appointed to cover non-contact time. Rural schools with composite classes have lesser ratios: 3 stages - 1-15, 2 stages, 1:18.

Any additional support is given initally by the teacher who then refers them to support staff at the Berritzegenua who then support the teacher.

Tha an tuilleadh ri thighinn.

Le Mairi Bheag, Siusaidh agus Seonaidh Adams.

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