Fernheim Zentralschule (Fernheim Colony, Boquerón Department, Paraguay)
The Mennonites in Paraguay have a public school system based on six years of elementary and four years of high school. The Fernheim Zentralschule was organized in 1931 in the village of Schönwiese (No. 7) and was taught by Wilhelm Klassen, Julius Legiehn, and Fritz Kliewer. In 1936 this school was moved to Filadelfia, which is the center of the Fernheim Colony. In 1940 there was added to its curriculum a pedagogical course of two years to train public school teachers for the colony.
In its beginning the school drew much support from Germany in the way of literature and supplies. After World War II much aid for the school came from North America through the Mennonite Central Committee in the way of supplies, money, and teachers. In 1947 the building of a much larger and better school building was begun.
In the 1950s the Zentralschule offered a four-year high-school course and two years of teacher training. Courses were prescribed and patterned largely after the European system and method. Although the school was independent of the Paraguayan governmental school system, it followed certain government stipulations such as the teaching of several Spanish subjects and the observance of the Paraguayan holidays.
The immediate purpose of the school was to train leaders for the colony, especially in the field of education, industry, and religion.
Its facilities in 1955 included the above-mentioned new building, plus dormitories for both girls and boys, a kitchen, and three teacherages. The school was owned and operated by the colony. The enrollment increased from 28 in 1945 to 180 in 1950, and the number of teachers employed increased from 3 in 1945 to 8 in 1950. C. C. Peters of Abbotsford, British Columbia, was principal in 1947-1952. Two teachers were sent to Switzerland for training in 1952-1955. In 1955 Peter Wiens was appointed director.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 326. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Hiebert, Waldo D. "Fernheim Zentralschule (Fernheim Colony, Boquerón Department, Paraguay)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/fernheim_zentralschule_fernheim_colony_boqueron.
APA style: Hiebert, Waldo D. (1956). Fernheim Zentralschule (Fernheim Colony, Boquerón Department, Paraguay). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/fernheim_zentralschule_fernheim_colony_boqueron.