Catalan and Spanish governments clash over Catalan language in schools

Catalonia is facing one of the biggest threats to its educational system since the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, according to the Catalan government. The Catalan executive has reacted angrily to the latest proposal by the Spanish minister of Education, José Ignacio Wert, to relegate Catalan to a third-class subject in schools while Spanish would continue to be a ‘core subject’. Wert said in Congress some weeks ago that he wants to “Hispanicize” Catalan pupils. His legislative proposal, presented less than two weeks after the Catalan elections, is now threatening to make any kind of reconciliation between his conservative party, the PP, and the Catalan government even more unlikely. Catalan minister Irene Rigau left a meeting in Madrid to express her opposition to the motion. She said that the proposals presented are “not negotiable” for the Catalans.

The proposal is full of ideas that have caused a row in Catalonia, and great criticism in social media like Facebook or Twitter with hastags such as #wertgonya. While downgrading the importance of Catalan as a subject, the draft also forces the Catalan government to offer more subjects in Spanish, therefore challenging the current model. For the last decades, Catalan has been the language of instruction in order to guarantee that all pupils end their studies knowing both official languages. The draft law also says that the Catalan government should pay for private education in Spanish for those families that ask for it as far as the system “is not reasonable” in offering of both languages.

Read @ Agència Catalana de Notícies