Education in Vestmannaeyjar
Primary schools There are two primary schools in the islands. The older one: Vestmannaeyjar Children´s School, established in 1880, is still going strong and together with the 22 year old Hamarsskóli, runs an ambitious school programme, laying the emphasis on meeting the different and various needs of the pupils. Equally ambitious are the continuing education programmes based on individualised learning. Information technology has been placed in the foreground and the schools “computerised” as soundly and quickly as possible. The primary schools have participated in various international educational programmes such as the Globe and the Comenious. All primary school staff will in the near future participate in the Olweus programme that is aimed at stamping out discrimination and fostering a beneficial collaborative atmosphere in the schools, among pupils as well as staff. There is special assistance available in the form of psychological consultations, teaching assistance, general educational advice and speech therapy.
Pre-primary schools The town has two pre-primary schools, each based on a different educational approach: an environmental one, the Montessori and Hjalli, a new Icelandic one. Special assistance, counselling and training are available. A project aimed at the behavioural modification of autistic children is in the pipelines in collaboration with the State Diagnostic and Counselling Centre where the teaching staff will be trained.
Art school The music school simultaneously aims at providing a general education in music as well as bolstering musical life in the community. The art school also offers courses in fine arts and drama. This greatly enriches and strengthens the community’s cultural life. The art school building contains a multi-purpose exhibition hall, used for various projects, such as art exhibitions and drama productions. A recent impressive undertaking is a joint Nordic island community project called “The isle of Tranquillity”.
Educational policy The educational policy of Vestmannaeyjar has been under revision for about a year. The main purpose is to find a way to make good schools better. The municipal authority places great emphasis on providing excellent instructional facilities as well as well-educated staff. For this purpose municipal staff have been encouraged and supported in seeking professional improvements and qualifications.
Viska The educational centre, Viska, offers many and various courses of continuing education both locally and by distance learning via the internet. To name a few courses on offer there is mountain climbing, cooking and literature, apart from university courses via distance learning. The Vestmannaeyjar comprehensive school offers varied education and training including industrial and vocational such as mechanics. It is of tremendous importance to the community as most pupils from the primary and lower secondary schools continue their schooling there without the need to leave home.