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Valira Torrent - bulletin of the Andorran Philatelic Study Circle. Issue 38, p8 (Nov 1993).
This stamp, issued to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Andorran School, will not win many awards for outstanding design, but the story behind it is very interesting. Andorra, being sandwiched between France and Spain, has been subjected to cultural influences from both countries whilst, at the same time, keeping its own cultural identity. Traditionally, France and Spain have guaranteed and satisfied the needs of education in Andorra. At the present time the school population is over 9000 pupils.
In 1982 the Andorrans decided to start their own school. The aim was to reconcile the necessity to open out towards Europe whilst, at the same time, conserving its own cultural personality. The school emphasizes the teaching of living languages. In 1982 the school welcomed 38 children aged from three to six years old. The teaching met with great success and the numbers at the school tripled. By 1985 a six year primary school course was established, and this was followed in 1990 by the start of a secondary course for pupils aged twelve to sixteen.
The children of the three to six years old group are integrated into a unique cycle, but divided into two groups according to their mother language - Catalan French or Catalan Spanish. This division is maintained until the end of primary education. The primary education is structured into three cycles of two years each. The teaching is done in Catalan. At the start of the second cycle a third language is introduced. The programmes of study are organised around the following modules:- Social Sciences; Science and Technology; Living Languages; Mathematics; Physical Education; Plastic Arts; Music. Secondary education is structured in two cycles of two years.
Today, the Andorran School has nearly one thousand students. It is hoped that the accent put on living languages will allow them to understand the different cultures, and also facilitate their integration into university or into an active life.
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