The councilor of the Generalitat asks by letter to the directors of the centers not to change their linguistic model
The day after the Supreme Court resolution, which obliges the Catalan school to incorporate Spanish as a vehicular language in the Catalan educational model, at least in 25% of the subjects, the Catalan Government has warned the courts that the Catalan «not touched«. The Regional Minister of Education, Josep González-Cambray, has sent a letter to the directors of the centers, in which he urges them to continue working as before and not to make any changes, despite the court ruling. “We want you to continue working exactly as before,” he asks them. González-Cambray has denied that he is urging those responsible for the schools to disobey the Supreme Court ruling.
The counselor has admitted that the ruling is firm, but has also specified in an interview in Rac-1 that for the ruling to become effective someone has to urge its execution. And in his opinion, only the complaining party can do it, in this case the Ministry of Education. The nationalist leader has assured that the minister of the branch, Pilar Alegría, has given him “guarantees” that he will not ask the courts to execute the ruling. And, the sentence, he added, refers to a law, the one promoted by Minister Wert, which is no longer in force. The one in force is the so-called Celaá law. And according to the counselor, Catalonia already complies with this rule, which establishes that at the end of compulsory education the student has to gain knowledge of the two official languages. “We have already fulfilled this and the law does not speak of percentages,” he said.
In any case, it has also contemplated that particular complaints may occur, as in the past. If there are, the Government has promised to “manage them as before.” “There have only been 80 complaints since 2015 about 1.6 million students annually,” he said. The case that has been resolved in the Supreme Court dates back to 2015. The then Government of the PP, chaired by Mariano Rajoy, denounced the Government before the TSJC for breaching the education law and what it understood as an “inactivity of the Generalitat” in establish a reasonable use of Spanish in the classrooms.
The Supreme Court’s ruling was made public by the Generalitat on the same day that ERC guaranteed support for the Government to carry out the General State Budgets. The agreement must guarantee 6% of the content of the streaming platforms in Catalan, Basque or Galician. According to the counselor, “it is not by chance” that the ruling and the pact around the Catalan’s armor plate was known on the same day.
The immersion system in Catalonia, in essence, is based on the fact that the vehicular language, the language in which the subjects are taught, is Catalan. Castilian, or Spanish language, only appears as one more subject, of which two or three hours per week are taught per student. The decision of the Supreme Court, which rejects the appeal, implies that the judgment of the TSJC becomes final and therefore is mandatory. What is more complicated is its practical application, since each school is a world and the reality of a center in Santa Coloma de Gramanet, where the majority of the population speaks in Spanish, has nothing to do with Berga. Spanish is the majority language in Catalonia (only 36% of the population has Catalan as their usual language).
Language immersion in Catalonia has been in place for 40 years. A study by the Government concluded weeks ago that it is not giving the results desired by the defenders of the Catalan language. The use of Catalan today registers percentages that are one third of those that were given 15 years ago. Thus, for example, if in 2006 67% of students always or almost always related in Catalan in their group activities, in 2021 21.4% do so, only one in five students. And the number of Catalan students who say they never use Catalan ‘never’ or ‘almost never’ in group activities in the classroom is 28.4%, compared to 10.9% in 2006. Both data reflect the decrease to a third of the position registered in 2006. Regarding the evolution of the use of Catalan among teachers to address the whole class, there has also been a decrease, since in 2006 there was 63, 7% of teachers addressed their group in Catalan always or almost always, and in 2021 the figure has decreased to 46.8%.