The Escuela Libre Paideia designs an education according to seven basic values: equality, solidarity, justice, freedom, non-violence, culture and happiness. Mérida, capital of the Autonomous Region of Extremadura in southwest Spain, belongs to the province of Badajoz and is the location for the autonomous institution. In addition to the students who attend the school directly, others are taught via distance learning. The average class size is 8 to 13 students. There is no grading of performance. Inspired by concepts such as the »modern school« of Francisco Ferrer or the school concept »Una Expresión en Libertad« of Fenegal de la Sierra, the educator Josefa Martin Luengo (1945-2009) founded the school in 1978 together with her colleagues Cancha Castaño Caesaseca and Ma. Jesús Checa Simo founded the Escuela Libre Paideia as a place for anarchist education. The concept of the school is based on the following principles: Self-management, Self-responsibility, Collectivity, Solidarity, Anarchist Ethics, Equality, Nonviolence, Freedom. In addition, the school has eight educational principles: 1.) Education against dependence on parents / 2.) Education against private property / 3.) Education against the faith in authority / 4.) Education against egoism / egocentrism / 5.) Education against the competition of the social classes / 6.) Education against frustration / aggressiveness / violence / 7.) Education against the desire for power relations / 8.) Education against consumerism. The school is organised through a cooperative made up of supporters and parents. Supporters, teachers, children and parents have the same rights and duties.
An anarchist and anti-authoritarian upbringing and education of children, which works against any manipulation of the individual, which releases children from dependence on their parents and educates them to become independent free individuals.
Josefa Martin Luengo, Cancha Castaño Caesaseca, Ma. Jesús Checa Simo