• “In the next courses there will be more Catalan than there has been in recent years”, announces Patrícia Plaja

The Govern keeps the pulse before the ultimatum of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) so that in 15 days it applies the sentence that obliges to teach 25% of classes in Spanish in all Catalan educational centers. yesterday announced that from next year there will be «more Catalan than there has been in recent years» in schools. «It will become more Catalan after the sentence than before this attack. We will make every effort to increase the use of Catalan in all areas of the school”, assured the spokesperson Patricia Plaja at the press conference after the weekly meeting of the Consell Esecutiu.

How is that going to be achieved? Plaja explained that the Generalitat is already working on a “crash plan” to increase the use of Catalan in all areas of educational centers and thus reinforce the Catalan school model. This plan will include actions to promote the use of Catalan not only in the classroom, but also in other areas of the school environment such as the patio or the dining room, through leisure or conversation groups.

And it is that, judicial controversies aside, the latest reports available to the Government on the health of the Catalan language in educational centers have highlighted the decrease in the use that students make of Catalan outside the classroom, that is, when they leave to the patio or when they do work or interact in a group apart from the teacher. One of these studies, carried out by the Consell Superior d’Avaluació in the 2006, 2013 and 2021 academic years with students in the fourth year of ESO, indicated that the percentage of students who always or almost always use Catalan in group activities has gone from 67.8% in 2006 to 21.4% in 2021. And the number of students who address the teacher in Catalan in the classroom always or almost always has fallen from 56% to 39.4%.

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The Government insisted on transmitting a message to the directors of centers and teachers so that they have “complete peace of mind”. Plaja urged them to “continue doing their work” as they have done up to now and assured them that they will be given the necessary instruments and clear indications so that they can work freely, “with the peace of mind that the Department of Education is legally responsible for assuming the ultimate responsibility.”

At a legal level, the Government will present an appeal against the TSJC interlocutory (it has a margin of five days to do so) and, after that and when the court responds, “it will exhaust all possible legal channels to stop this attack against Catalan in the schools,” according to Plaja. In short, resources that will delay compliance with the court’s decision and could prevent the sentence from being applied this year, taking into account that there is little more than a month to go before classes end. The last day of the course is June 22.

The High Inspection will act

Yesterday, the Ministry of Education, which the decision urges to ensure compliance with the sentence. Minister Pilar Alegría assured that the Government, through the High Inspection, It will collaborate “within the framework of existing jurisdiction and jurisprudence” to control compliance with the ruling.

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According to ministry sources cited by Europa Press, the High Inspection will act after the 15 days that the Generalitat has a margin to comply with the sentence. In any case, the same sources stated that the inspectors will not enter the educational centers -more than 5,400-, but that the procedure will be different. This procedure will first be communicated to the TSJC, which is the one that has requested the High Inspection.

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In an attempt to calm things down, the government spokeswoman, Isabel Rodríguez, stressed that the co-official languages ​​are a “cultural wealth” of Spain and not a “source of confrontation” or a “thrown weapon between one another.” And she recalled that the law already establishes that in bilingual communities, students must finish ESO with skills in both languages.

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