New linguistic policy law means compliance with 25% ruling, minister claims

Cambray sends a letter to the Catalan High Court detailing all the actions taken since the sentence became final

2 min
The Minister of Education, Josep Gonzàlez-Cambray, before the TSJC, in an archive image

BarcelonaCatalan Education minister Josep Gonzàlez-Cambray has sent a letter to Catalonia's High Court to inform it of how he plans to implement the sentence that forces 25% of classes in primary and secondary schools be in Spanish, given that this Friday was the last day to execute the ruling. In his letter, Cambray points out the measures that have been taken during these months to convince the Catalan High Court the ruling (which is already final and has cannot be appealed) is being complied with. First of all, Cambray adduces the agreement announced yesterday by ERC, PSC, JxCat and En Comú Podem in Parliament to modify the linguistic policy law and "update the guarantee of achievement of linguistic competence in accordance with the curriculum's new skill-based approach and the application of the instruments of control, assessment and improvement of the educational system" .

Cambray also reports that at the executive level, the Catalan government has initiated procedures for a new decree, as announced by the minister himself on Tuesday, and explains this new regulation will establish that Catalan and Spanish "will be contemplated in schools' linguistic projects in order to achieve full control" of both languages. Finally, the minister recalls that steps have also been taken in sociolinguistic matters, as the Centre for Research in Sociolinguistics and Communication of the University of Barcelona has been commissioned to conduct a survey on schools' language reality, since the High Council for the Assessment of the Education System's latest data reveals the use of Catalan in schools is progressively decreasing, as does data provided by the Catalan Ombudsman this week, which also indicates that in practice Catalan schools already teach more than 25% of classes in Spanish

In a statement, the Department of Education has explained that all these actions aim to "strengthen the Catalan school model and provide more legal certainty to schools' linguistic projects". "With all the actions we are putting in place we will achieve a higher presence of Catalan in the coming years than we have now," said Cambray.

However, as there are no mentions to a specific percentage of classes taught in Spanish, as the ruling states, there are doubts about what real effect that this document will have and some questions arise: what interpretation will the Catalan High Court make of it? Will the announced change stop the families who, individually, will continue to sue for 25% of classes to be in Spanish? What will happen when anti-immersion organisations demand the forced execution of the ruling? The platform Escuela de Todos has already announced that it will "urge the forced execution of the ruling" because "no legislative modification can substitute the effective fulfilment of the sentence". In turn, Ciudadanos has already warned that the modification of the Linguistic Policy law agreed by the PSC, ERC, comuns and Junts does not comply with the Catalan High Court ruling and has warned that it will take the case to court. The party had already threatened with legal action, and now party sources consulted by ACN explain that they are studying whether the Department is incurring only in a crime of misfeasance or also disobedience.