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One in three teachers self-censor when discussing Catalan politics, warns report

A quarter of surveyed families don’t want politics discussed in the classroom

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11 October 2018 01:26 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The political situation in Catalonia and the accusations of indoctrination against schools undermined teachers’ freedom of expression, warns a report from the Fundació Bofill.

Out of 2,666 surveyed professors, 29.3% said they no longer discuss politics or social issues in class for fear of them not being well received.

The vast majority of Catalan teachers (70%) believe that such topics ought to be open for debate, as they consider them part of the curriculum, but only 12.4% say they feel comfortable doing so "naturally."  

A tiny fraction (12.2%) of professors are against tackling such issues altogether, with some claiming they are "delicate topics that foster division" (5%). In all, 4% of surveyed teachers believe students should be sheltered from political debates.

The report also interviewed 9,794 parents. Most of them (70%) believe that professors should discuss politics and social issues in class, and over half of them (54%) even said that the situation in Catalonia provides an "opportunity" for students to develop their "own criteria."        

Still, a quarter of parents surveyed (26.7%) don’t want politics to be discussed in class. Half of them (13%) want to avoid teachers influencing their children with their political ideas, and 10% say tackling such issues would "deepen divisions."  

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  • A school in Tortosa, southern Catalonia, on the first day of class (by ACN)

  • A school in Tortosa, southern Catalonia, on the first day of class (by ACN)