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Rajoy's main advisory body asks "to reconsider" obliging Catalonia to teach in Spanish in privately-owned schools

The State Council, which is the Spanish Government's main advisory body, on Thursday called on the Ministry of Education "to reconsider entirely" the decree with the Education Reform that obliges the Catalan Government to pay for the private tuition of students who request to be taught in Spanish if there is no offer in the public system.  The top advisory body considered that the costs of the measure had not been seriously calculated and that limitations have not been included. The Catalan Minister for Education, Irene Rigau,  appealed to the Spanish Ministry of Education to remove this provision from the new Reform.  The latest disagreement is part of an ongoing conflict between the Spanish and the Catalan Governments regarding Catalan being the main language of instruction in schools.  

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12 June 2014 08:03 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN.) - The State Council, which is the Spanish Government's main advisory body, on Thursday called on the Ministry of Education "to reconsider entirely" the decree with the Education Reform that obliges the Catalan Government to pay for the private tuition of students who request to be taught in Spanish if there is no offer in the public system.  The top advisory body considered that the costs of the measure had not been seriously calculated and that limitations have not been included. The Catalan Minister for Education, Irene Rigau, appealed to the Spanish Ministry of Education to remove this provision from the new Reform.  The latest disagreement is part of an ongoing conflict between the Spanish and the Catalan Governments regarding Catalan being the main language of instruction in schools. 


Speaking before the Catalan Parliament, Irene Rigau believes that the opinion of the State Council represents a "huge blow" for the Spanish Ministry's plans. The Catalan Education Minister believes that the Ministry should desist from developing this decree in the Education Reform (known with the acronym LOMCE) because "it is clear that both Catalan and Spanish children in Catalonia are learning well."

According to the Catalan Public Television Broadcaster (commonly known as TV3), the State Council stated that the draft decree, which obligates the Catalan Government to pay for the private education of those students who request to be taught in Spanish where there is no offer in the public system, has not been seriously examined in terms of costs. The State Council is a consultative body of the Spanish Government and their opinions are not binding.

However, Rigau believes that the Spanish Ministry should amend the draft of the LOMCE, as she believes that the State Council sees "a problem of unconstitutionality" in some respects.  In any case, the Catalan Minister for Education has guaranteed that she will not apply this decree, "because we are certain that it is inapplicable, unnecessary, it technically lacks quality and it is the result of an obsession", referring to the Spanish nationalism's historical persecution of Catalan language and imposition of Spanish. In fact, when he was presenting the new law before the Parliament, the Spanish Education Minister José Ignacio Wert stated that his "aim" was "to Hispanicise Catalan pupils". On Thursday, Rigau once again insisted that Catalan pupils have "amply demonstrated" they "achieve proficiency" in both Spanish and Catalan.

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  • The Catalan Education Minister, Irene Rigau, at Catalonia's Parliament on Thursday (by R. Garrido)

  • The Catalan Education Minister, Irene Rigau, at Catalonia's Parliament on Thursday (by R. Garrido)