Josep Miró Ardèvol, 3 January 2022
The Government wants to promote the use of Catalan among students and teachers (Educational Departament)
The conflict between Catalan and Spanish in public schools is a demonstration of how political parties are dedicated to provoking confrontations, if they believe that they redound to their electoral benefit, instead of fulfilling their mission to resolve them. They fight over a non-existent problem, because the sentence that guarantees Spanish 25% of the teaching time does not constitute any setback for Catalan, since the use of Spanish in the classroom is higher than that obligation in social settings where it is the majority, such as in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. The opposite happens in the less populated territories where the hegemony corresponds to the Catalan. This situation is anti-pedagogical because it hinders a good command of both languages. Hence, it would be an achievement to ensure 75% of comprehensive classes in Catalan in areas of Castilian linguistic hegemony, and to guarantee 25% of Spanish in areas of Catalan hegemony, because the evidence from data from the Generalitat itself indicates how far we are from this situation.
The policy to follow is not that of conflict, but that of restoring consensus
In 2021, students always addressed the teacher in Catalan in only 39.4% of the cases. For their part, the teacher did so in 46.8%. Fifteen years ago, students used it to address the teacher by 56%, and 63.7% was used to communicate with them. Three pieces of evidence can be deduced from these figures: 1) There has been a notable decline in Catalan, without the need for judicial intervention. 2) Comprehensive classes in this language, because this is what immersion is, they do not reach 50%. 3) When we were better, fifteen years ago, we were still far from the 75% that is clear from the judicial demand.
And this reality indicates the policy to follow, which is not that of the conflict over the language, but that of the recovery of consensus: it is about having the appropriate means to obtain a good command and use of both languages, starting as a basis 25% -75% achievement in all centers. At the same time, we must debate and give an answer to why in our time, and unlike in the past, the people of Catalonia have such an inability to transmit the inherited legacy, which naturally includes the language. And be careful, because the Generalitat bureaucracy is not going to solve this deficiency.