Spain

Education in Andalusia

In the European country that has the highest school dropout rate, new forms of education are being trialled

In Andalusia (Spain) two out of every ten children drop out of school before completing their education. Among the Spanish regions it has one of the highest school drop out rates (21.8%), second only to Ceuta and Melilla. Nevertheless, here in Andalusia in recent years various alternative schooling projects have been developed, both for infant schools and primaries: from forest schools to groups of families providing democratic education, to classes inspired by educators such as Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner.

“La casa de la Luz” in Tarifa, for example, was founded 13 years ago by three German families that practiced home schooling and today teaches around 40 children. Children like Diego, who was born in Madrid and moved to Tarifa with his parents when he was six. “My son had problems sitting still,” explains Carolina,” but here there are few pupils and, to give an example, they taught maths while doing carpentry. Elsewhere they would have diagnosed him as having attention deficit disorder. Today however, Diego is 12 years old, he has no problems concentrating and next year will transfer to a state school.”

Another example of an alternative school is “Tierra y Sal” in Chiclana de la Frontera, not far from Cadiz. Founded in 2019, it is situated in a large pine forest on the beach were the children spend their mornings learning about marine fauna, cooking bread and playing among the trees, which they have begun referring to by their correct names. Unlike in other countries, this learning method is not officially recognised in Spain but its success has attracted the interest of the University of Cadiz.