Editorial | Immersion: Spain can’t afford it

The Supreme Court has not made any pronouncement these days on linguistic immersion. Simply has decided not to admit an appeal from the Generalitat against a judgment of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) which requires schools to teach at least 25% of classes in Spanish. And he has dismissed the matter for a defect of form. Therefore, before calling an outburst for another “attack” by the Supreme Court, the defenders of the linguistic model of the Catalan school should be critical and demanding of the institution itself. Similarly, those who feel animosity for this “linguistic immersion” should not throw the bells on the fly either, because to this day they have no more legal arguments in favor of their thesis. The decision of the Supreme Court does leave the immersion in an almost indecipherable legal chaos. The sentence was passed during the time of the LOMCE, the so-called ‘Wert law’, while it will have to be executed when the ‘Celaá law’ is in force, which does not establish by organic law the use of vehicular languages ​​as it did the previous. We will have to wait for the instructions issued by the TSJC in the execution of the sentence to know if it causes the pernicious or miraculous effects that both predict.

But beyond this episode, used to encourage victimhood or to seek a crude application of article 155 suspending Catalan autonomy, the truth is that linguistic immersion has been part of the Catalan consensus in the same way as the amnesty law It is formed by that of the whole of Spain. Immersion is a pedagogical proposal that emerged in the 70s of the last century from the left to guarantee equal opportunities. It is based on the principle, which has proven effective, of immersing pupils in the use of two languages ​​to ensure that by the end of compulsory education they are equally fluent. This principle still enjoys an overwhelming social and political consensus in Catalonia today. It is true that, in its application, some governments of the Generalitat have lacked sensitivity to serve certain groups, such as families temporarily residing in Catalonia. And it is true, too, that some have linked immersion to the survival of Catalan or the generation of an identity that would justify adventures such as independence. And, in the same way, everyone knows that, regardless of regulations, schools that do not use Spanish in 25% of classes should be counted on the fingers of the hand. But justice has never questioned anything other than the fit of the school linguistic model with the powers of the Generalitat, the preservation of individual rights and respect for the organic laws in force at all times. Beyond the opportunism of some, everyone knows that the solution to the Catalan issue is that citizens see both languages ​​respected equally, not only from the Generalitat but from all State institutions. The opposite is what Spain cannot afford.


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