10/12/2021

Catalan and coexistence, two unassailable principles

2 min
Demonstration in Canet de Mar in favour of school in Catalan

Those who for years have wanted to turn language into an element of confrontation are licking their lips again. Every time there is an argument, they come out on top. It doesn't matter that coexistence in a school and, therefore, children's education is at stake. The same goes for the fact that, despite the profound disagreement with the courts' round-up of linguistic immersion, backed by its educational and coexistence success, the schools directly affected, such as the Escola Turó del Drac in Canet de Mar, comply with the required provisions.

Turning two unfortunate tweets in the wake of the court ruling establishing 25% of classes for a group of five-year-olds must be in Spanish into a supposed wave of hatred against Spanish and against Spain is a gross manipulation. We must repeat it and say it loud and clear: there is no problem of linguistic coexistence in Catalonia, and even less so at school. There is, on the contrary, no discrimination against Spanish. There is a decline in the use of Catalan. On paper there is positive discrimination against Catalan at school (immersion), a law that, even so, in practice is only half applied.

Given this, it is offensive and outrageous to have to hear the leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, demanding that the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, act "against the Generalitat and the violent". What violence? What is he talking about? And let alone what the representatives of Cs and Vox have come to affirm, in an insane spiral that seeks to create a climate of persecution, as if Catalonia and its school system were a kind of apartheid. We are facing an enormous falsehood fed by a large part of the Madrid press, an irresponsibility that cannot be accepted nor normalised. For too many years now it seems that anything goes when it comes to shoddily attempting to break Catalan social cohesion. In 2020 only 23 families out of a total of 798,000 enrolled students asked for more Spanish in the classroom, a radicalised superminority that does not represent the feelings of a country where an overwhelming majority sees the knowledge of Catalan and Spanish as a richness. To turn these exceptions into a political and social problem through the courts is nonsense.

In fact, despite the thunderous noise of the Spanish media, despite the disruption of educational work in some schools, despite the predisposition of the Barcelona Provincial Prosecutor's Office to speak of hate crimes, coexistence in Catalan schools continues to be exemplary. In fact, at the Escola Turó del Drac, both the teaching staff and the parent association have worked from the outset to prevent the controversy from reaching the classroom. But all the same: the undisguised aim of the Spanish ultranationalist triple right is to discredit the Catalan school and create an image of a linguistic imposition. They will not give up this obsession. Until now they have had little social support among families, but the endorsement of the courts, which seem to be miserably ignorant of what really happens in schools, gives them wings. And they have no shortage of loudspeakers. It will continue to be necessary, then, both the Catalan Government and all the other players involved to stay firm and skilfully continue to defend Catalan and coexistence as two inalienable treasures.

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