Society 22/04/2022

A parent's reasons to demand 25% of classes in Spanish

Catalan High Court agrees with two families and forces two more schools to teach a core subject in this language

2 min
A secondary school student from a school in Sant Vicenç dels Horts

BarcelonaThe trickle of sentences forcing 25% of classes to be taught in Spanish continues. Catalonia's High Courts has partially accepted the request of the parents of two students for their children to receive a quarter of their lessons in Spanish. These are the first resolutions to be issued after the Supreme Court upheld the 2020 ruling which forced the Generalitat to apply this percentage in all Catalan schools.

Nevertheless, the resolutions, which were reported first by Abc and to which ARA has had access, do not yet refer to this sentence. The magistrates go back to the previous case law to agree with the parents on the right of their children to receive 25% of the classes in Spanish. The orders, however, reject the families' request that the school change its entire linguistic plan and teach a quarter of subjects in Spanish to all students. Instead, the change will only affect the groups in which the plaintiffs' children study. The lawsuits were filed by the Assembly for a Bilingual School.

The two orders insist that, despite the fact that Catalan must be "the centre of gravity of the educational system", "a minimum presence" of Spanish "as a vehicular language" must be established in the plaintiffs' children's group. The court fixes this quota at 25%, so that in addition to Spanish, at least one more subject is taught in the language. The magistrates give one month for the affected schools to apply the changes, although the resolutions are not final and may be appealed against.

The orders are addressed directly to the heads of the affected schools "to avoid further delays" in complying with the measures, taking into account "the Generalitat's non-compliance", the court adds, which also urges schools and the administration to "preserve" the privacy of the affected students.

"On equal terms"

One of the parents who demanded that Spanish "be taught on equal terms" to Catalan in school is Jordi López, a Ciutadans councillor in El Prat de Llobregat. He lists various spelling mistakes his children made when writing Spanish and adds: "I wanted them to learn to write in Spanish as well as in Catalan". Concerned that his children were only taught two hours of Spanish a week, a few years ago he decided to take the case to court because children "have the obligation to learn Catalan but also Spanish"

For their youngest son, aged 9, they already obtained a resolution that has been in force since September and which recognises the child's right to receive 25% of classes in Spanish (in his class they teach mathematics in Spanish). The order published this Thursday affects the eldest son, 12, because when the High Court Ruling arrived, the child had already moved to secondary school, and the family had to start the whole process all over again. López, who insists that he does not want Catalan to disappear, says that his political affiliation "has nothing to do" with the court battle, because he filed the first appeals before becoming a councillor, and criticizes the "hypocrisy" of politicians "who defend immersion and Catalan as a classroom language" but take their children to schools where Spanish is used.

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