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Catalan Minister for Education aims to repeal Spanish Education Reform, considers it “ideological”

The Catalan Minister for Education, Meritxell Ruiz, asked her counterpart in the Spanish Government, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, to prove the willingness of the Spanish executive to “dialogue” by suspending the additional regulation of the Education Reform (LOMCE) which foresees that the Catalan Government has to pay 6,000 euros for each pupil who wants to receive education in Spanish in private schools. According to Ruiz, “whether this new path of dialogue actually starts or not” will depend on “the Minister’s answer to this petition”. The LOMCE “is an ideological law”, stated Ruiz this Monday, before meeting the Spanish minister in Madrid and added that the law, which now the new Spanish Government has opened to modification, “is terrible from a pedagogical perspective” and “breaks apart the Catalan education system”. 

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28 November 2016 06:31 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The Education Reform (LOMCE) conceived by former Spanish Minister for Education, Ignacio Wert, and approved in 2013 by the Spanish Parliament “is an ideological law” which “breaks apart the Catalan education system” and “is terrible from a pedagogical perspective”. These statements were made this Monday by Catalan Minister for Education, Meritxell Ruiz, before meeting with her counterpart in the Spanish Government, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo. Now that the new Spanish executive has opened to negotiate the LOMCE with the Autonomous Communities, Ruiz has called Méndez de Vigo to prove the willingness of the Spanish executive to “dialogue” by suspending the additional regulation of the Education Reform (LOMCE) which foresees that the Catalan Government has to pay 6,000 euros for each pupil who wants to receive education in Spanish in private schools. 


According to Ruiz, “whether this new path of dialogue” announces by the Spanish Government “actually starts or not” will depend on “the Minister’s answer to this petition”. “Given that [the Spanish Government] has to accept that they don’t have a majority in the Spanish Parliament and that the LOMCE and its calendar have to be modified, they have to admit that this regulation breaks apart the Catalan education system”, she said this Monday before meeting the minister in Madrid.

The regulation which foresees 6,000 euros in Government funding for the education of each pupil who wants to receive lessons in Spanish in private schools is the point which has caused the main stir since the LOMCE was approved in 2013. Back then, former Spanish Minister for Education, Ignacio Wert, announced the law’s aim to “Hispanicise Catalan pupils”. However, it is not the only controversial point of the law. “It is an ideological law and terrible from a pedagogical point of view as it segregates the pupils and expels them from secondary education”, Minister Ruiz stated.

A controversial reform to “Hispanicise Catalan pupils”

In 2013, all the Autonomous Community governments that were not run by the Conservative People’s Party (PP) united in their opposition to the LOMCE. The Catalan Education Minister at that time, Irene Rigau, stated at the Senate commission analysing the new law that the Reform “recentralised” and totally “invaded” devolved powers. Thus, she claimed, the Autonomous Communities were about to become “delegations of the central government”. Furthermore, Rigau asked the Spanish Education Minister, José Ignacio Wert, “to be brave” and “eliminate” the Reform’s points regarding the language immersion principle.

In fact, the Reform goes against the Catalan school model, which has been in place since the early 1980s and is backed by an almost-total consensus in Catalonia. Rigau pointed out that only 26 cases out of 1,200,000 pupils had requested a different model than the one offered in Catalonia. According to her, changing the entire education system and the language equilibrium in Catalonia for 26 families is “abusive and counterproductive”.

However, the Spanish Minister totally rejected changing the law, particularly changing the points referring to the Catalan school model. Wert – who a year ago said in the Spanish Parliament that “Catalan pupils had to be Hispanicized” – stated that the Education Reform is “not recentralising” powers nor does it aim “to homogenise”. Furthermore, the Minister accused those saying that the new Reform goes against the Catalan language of “pursuing prejudices”.

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  • Catalan Minister for Education, Meritxell Ruiz (by ACN)

  • Catalan Minister for Education, Meritxell Ruiz (by ACN)