Skibelund Efterskole (continuation school)
Skibelund Efterskole (continuation school) was established in 1874 as Skibelund Friskole. The students came from both sides of the river Kongeå. The students from South Jutland lived at the school. In 1884 it was forbidden for children from South Jutland who were of school age too go to school in Denmark, and Skibelund Friskole was changed into Skibelund Efterskole.
School played an important role in the national struggle. The young students from South Jutland had lessons in Danish language and culture. The teaching was a much-needed counterbalance to the education they had received in the Prussian school.
German in schools
n 1864, the children from South Jutland were taught in Danish. In 1867, the duchies became a part of the Prussian kingdom and the authorities began to take an interest in the teaching.
In 1871, German became a compulsory subject taught in primary and lower secondary schools with six weekly lessons. There was an immediate response. Danish-minded Southern Jutlanders created independent schools. The German authorities did not look kindly upon the schools and their teachers. It quickly became very difficult to run a pro-Danish independent school in Southern Jutland.
The teacher Knud Petersen, who had run a Grundtvigian independent school in Hjerting, could only see one way out of the difficulties. The school had to move north of the border. The parents were keen to support the idea.
Land was leased by Skibelundforeningen (the Skibelund Association), and a modest school building offering six subjects was built. The school was a success, the number of pupils increased steadily and the school was extended at regular intervals.
Danish language and culture
In the winter of 1883/84, children of a school age from South Jutland were forbidden to go to school in Denmark. Pressure begets counter pressure and creative ideas, and Skibelund Friskole was transformed into Skibelund Efterskole.
Skibelund School is the second oldest continuation school in Denmark, and the first of the so-called frontier schools, where the main function was to teach young students from South Jutland in Danish language and culture.
The teaching at the schools was a very important part of the national struggle. It was here that the young Southern Jutlanders learnt about their country's culture, at the same time as they learned to express themselves in writing in their mother tongue
la Cour Petersen: Skolehjemmet i Skibelund, et Hundredeaarsminde om Georgia la Cour 1844 - 26. dec. - 1944 og Knud Hansen Petersen 1845 - 21. sept. - 1945, Kolding 1946.
Mikkelsen, Lis: Skolen for livet 1874-1921. Om Skibelund og Skoleforeningen, 2012
Author: Linda Klitmøller, museum curator, Sønderskov Museum