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Privately-owned school: “we choose to teach in Catalan because we are deeply rooted to this country”

‘Escola Pia’, one of the largest Catalan networks of privately-owned schools, believes that the Catalan High Court (TSJC) ruling forcing one of its school in Barcelona to teach 25% of classes in Spanish, “goes against” its educational project. The school network highlights that this project was “formally accepted by the families who have enrolled their children here”. ‘Escola Pia’ have issued a manifesto rejecting the TSJC sentence which states that if the family of a single pupil asks for classes to be taught in Spanish, “at least” 25% of the mandatory school subjects will have to be taught in Spanish in the entire classroom, regardless of the opinion of the other pupils’ families. After having received such a demand from one family, ‘Escola Pia’ explained: “We choose to teach in the Catalan language because we are deeply rooted to this country and we are at its service”.

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07 February 2014 08:26 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- ‘Escola Pia’, one of the largest Catalan networks of privately-owned schools, believes that the Catalan High Court (TSJC) ruling forcing one of its school in Barcelona (Sarrià-Calassanç) to teach 25% of classes in Spanish, “goes against” its educational project. The school network highlights that this project was “formally accepted by the families who have enrolled their children here”. ‘Escola Pia’ have issued a manifesto rejecting the TSJC sentence which states that if the family of a single pupil asks for classes to be taught in Spanish, “at least” 25% of the mandatory school subjects will have to be taught in Spanish in the entire classroom, regardless of the opinion of the other pupils’ families. After having received such a demand from one family, ‘Escola Pia’ have explained: “We choose to teach in the Catalan language because we are deeply rooted to this country and we are at its service”. The manifesto also criticised that the Court is taking over educational and curriculum-setting functions “that are not its own” to look into. Such a judicial sentence represents an “attack” against freedom.


In their manifesto, Escola Pia have defended the model of “coexistence, solidarity and social cohesion” which is to be found in their classrooms, where the pupils\u200B\u200B are taught such values. Similarly, they stressed they wanted to preserve this space of conviviality, “one of the fundamental values” of their schools, which is put at risk with this latest court ruling. They explained that they wanted to continue working alongside institutions, organisations and the governing authorities so that “our society of coexistence and cohesion remains a reality”.

“We will do everything in our power to be faithful to the commitment that we have contracted with parents who have decided to entrust the education of their children to our schools, to make Catalan the language of instruction” concluded ‘Escola Pia’ in their manifesto.

The Catalan school system has been targeted by Spanish nationalists

At the end of January 2014, Catalonia’s High Court (TSJC) requested the Catalan Government to offer “at least” 25% of the mandatory school curricula in Spanish in the schools where a single pupil asks for it. The TSJC was interpreting a previous sentence from the Spanish Supreme Court. This represented another episode in a long sequence of judicial appeals that aim to change the entire Catalan school model, which has been in place for 35 years and absolutely guarantees the knowledge of both Catalan and Spanish at the end of the schooling period, as proven by the results. However, Spanish nationalist media and parties have been targeting Catalan school for the last decade. In the last few years a dozen families filed several judicial complaints and appeals requesting their children to be taught in Spanish in Catalonia’s public schools. The Catalan school model is based on the linguistic immersion principle and almost all the subjects are taught in Catalan except Spanish which is taught as a language, although some schools offer a few subjects in Spanish.

The Catalan school system has been praised by the UNESCO and the European Commission since it fosters equal opportunities, strengthens a true bilingualism and does not create two separate language communities. The system, which schools more than 1 million pupils per year, includes many flexibility measures for new-comers and individualised attention in Spanish. Furthermore around 500 schools offer at least 1 non-linguistic subject in Spanish. However, the Spanish Supreme Court considered this was insufficient and sentenced that Spanish had to be included as a language of instruction for the entire class group in the schools where the family of a single pupil was asking for it and even if the other children’s families had not requested it.

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  • The website of the Escola Pia school network (by Escola Pia)

  • The website of the Escola Pia school network (by Escola Pia)

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