The Spanish Parliament supports the current Catalan school model
A parliamentary motion has been approved, backing the Catalan linguistic immersion model at public schools. It was approved with the votes of all of the parliamentary groups except those from the People’s Party (PP) and the Unión Progreso y Democracia (UPyD). The motion received 192 “yes” votes and 148 “no” ones. It is the Spanish Parliament’s answer to the controversy over Spanish as language of instruction in Catalan public schools.
Madrid (ACN).- The Spanish Parliament supports the current school model in Catalonia, where Catalan is the language of instruction. The Spanish Parliament approved a motion backing the current linguistic immersion model with the votes of all of the political parties except the People’s Party (PP) and the Unión Progreso y Democracia (UPyD), both with Spanish Nationalist stances. It was approved with 192 “yes” votes and 148 “no” ones. The motion expressed the Spanish Parliament’s support to “the current linguistic model of the Catalan education system as a guarantee for social cohesion and full equality of opportunities”. The motion also reminds that pupils have “the right to use Catalan as language of instruction and learning”. It also emphasises that “pupils have the right […] not to be segregated in different centres or groups because of their language”. It is the Spanish Parliament’s answer to the controversy over Spanish being included as a language of instruction in Catalan public schools. The current model, in place for almost 30 years, has given constant proof that pupils leave school with all of the required language skills, both in Spanish and Catalan, and are truly bilingual. Catalan pupils get the same or better results than those from the rest of Spain in Spanish language exams according to the PISA report. The model is based on the Catalan linguistic immersion as many children are not exposed at all to this language in Catalonia, something that does not happen in the case of Spanish, which is omnipresent. The current model is backed by experts, teacher, parents organisations and international organisations such as the European Commission and the UNESCO.
The parliamentary motion supporting the Catalan linguistic immersion model at schools is the result of the negotiations among the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) –which is part of the PSOE–, and the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC). The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) and the Catalan Green Socialist Coalition (ICV-EUiA) have also joined the initiative.
Joan Ridao, a spokesperson for the ERC, stated “it is sad and painful that, in the 21st century, some insist on being permanently hostile against the Catalan language” and “to pass on the false image that in Catalonia there is one language that imposes itself on another one”. Jordi Xuclà, an MP from the CiU, explained that “this is not a political problem, but an intended machine to win votes” from Spanish Nationalism. He also added that this is “a debate far away from everyday reality in Catalonia, where there is not a linguistic conflict”.
The final text has received the votes from the all MPs except those from the People’s Party (PP), the Union of Navarran People (UPN) –an excision of the PP in Navarra–, and the Union Progreso y Democracia (UPyD), all three with clear Spanish Nationalist stances.