Gibraltar Chronicle Logo
Local News

Spain’s Instituto Cervantes offers A-level Spanish classes online for Gibraltarian students

Students in Gibraltar studying A-Level Spanish have been invited to sign up for a free eight-week course offered by Spain's Instituto Cervantes to help prepare for exams.

The course starts on May 12, is open to students at both government and private schools, and is being offered in coordination with the Gibraltar Government’s Ministry for Education and the Department of Education.

The study sessions will be available online for students as they prepare for their exams during the Covid-19 health crisis, the Instituto Cervantes said in a statement on Monday.

The move was welcomed by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo during the daily 4pm press conference.

“The public will recall the Instituto closed its doors in Gibraltar at the time that Señor Margallo was Foreign Minister of Spain,” he said.

“I welcome this tentative return, even if it is only virtual at this stage.”

The Instituto Cervantes is a Spanish public institution tasked with the teaching of Spanish and Spain’s vernacular languages, while enhancing the visibility of Spanish and Latin American culture. It is present in 90 cities in 43 countries on six continents.

The Instituto Cervantes operated a centre in Gibraltar between 2011 and 2015, the product of the trilateral process and the Cordoba Agreement of 2006.

But it was closed by the Partido Popular’s controversial Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, although Spain’s Socialist Government has since signalled its interest in reopening.

In fact, in the documentation issued by the institute for the online courses aimed at Gibraltarian students, the organisation uses the logo Instituto Cervantes Gibraltar. It has also launched a website with the address http://gibraltar.cervantes.es

However any plan to reopen a centre in Gibraltar, should it happen at all, is still some way off and the focus now is solely on the provision of online study for any local students who wants to take up the offer.

“Compared to other British students, Gibraltarian students studying Spanish do not have an Instituto Cervantes centre near where they live in order to prepare for the exams,” the Instituto Cervantes said.

“It is with this in mind that the Spanish Instituto want to offer this is a gesture so that these youngsters can have the best chance to take on Spanish as a foreign language.”

The course is being offered free of charge to all Spanish A-Level students in both Gibraltar’s private and public schools.

Further details on class schedules will soon be released to the secondary schools.

The Instituto said its teachers are currently working on a teaching programme that will be delivered over the Zoom communication platform.

Spanish lessons from the Instituto Cervantes will start on May 12 and will run until June 30.