The Fifth Section of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia has issued two sentences dated January 23, 2021, which were known today, in which it annulled the linguistic projects of two educational centers that only contemplated the Catalan language as a vehicular language.
This has been reported by the Assembly for a Bilingual School of Catalonia (AEB), which grants both resolutions “historical significance”, to the extent that “they will force to change all the linguistic projects of the public educational centers of Catalonia that 95% of the cases only establish that Catalan is the vehicular language of instruction “. A study prepared by the AEB in 2019 demonstrates this.
La Lomloe does not endorse immersion
The judgments, referring to two schools located in Barcelona and Abrera, come to assess the effect of the Lomloe in what refers to the teaching of official languages to conclude that the reform of the Organic Law of Education “does not change the situation above “, because Additional Provision 38, as provided by the Lomce, was limited to collecting the doctrine of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court and, therefore, the character of the vehicular language of Castilian in the Catalan educational model derives directly from the Spanish constitution. The rulings cite a previous ruling assessing the impact of the educational reform, which has not yet been made public.
Use of Spanish in Catalan schools, according to a study by the AEB
“There is no contradiction between what is reasoned and what is resolved in this judgment and the transcribed normative provision that has occurred, since the basis of the resolution is in the reiterated doctrine of the Constitutional Court as the supreme interpreter of the Constitution, set forth, specifically, in the judgments of TC 337/94, of December 23; and 31/2010, of June 28 “. Likewise, the high court indicates that “it is constitutionally obligated that the two co-official languages be recognized by the competent public powers as vehicular”.
What the Statute says
The judgments recall that article 35 of the Statute “admits an interpretation in accordance with the Constitution in the sense that it does not prevent the free and effective exercise of the right to receive instruction in Spanish as a vehicular and learning language in teaching.”
“The obligation for Spanish to be the vehicular language in teaching derives directly from the Constitution, hence the modification operated by Organic Law 3/2020 of the additional provision thirty-eight of the LOE does not affect the status of Spanish as a vehicular language In fact, in the explanatory memorandum of the aforementioned law, it is stated that its objective is to ‘reverse the changes promoted’ by Organic Law 8/2013 for the improvement of educational quality (Lomce), although it seems that between These changes do not refer to the use of Spanish as a vehicular language, at least in the long and extensive explanatory memorandum, no reference is made to the regime of vehicular languages contained in the additional thirty-eighth provision of the LOE “.
In any case, “what the Lomce did in relation to Spanish as a vehicular language was to collect in its operative part the interpretation made by the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court.” Hence, the suppression by Organic Law 3/2020 of the mention that “Spanish is the vehicular language of education throughout the State” that was expressly contained in the Lomce “does not alter the regime of Spanish as a vehicular language recognized by the highest interpreter of the Constitution – the Constitutional Court – by the Supreme Court and by this Superior Court “.
Language used in the internal communications of Catalan schools, according to a report by AEB
The same chamber, the magistrates emphasize, issued a sentence dated December 16, 2020, in which ruling was agreed: “Partially estimate the appeal filed by the State attorney, declaring the obligation of the Generalitat of Catalonia to adopt the measures that are necessary in order to guarantee that, in the teachings included in the Catalan educational system, all students receive the teaching effectively and immediately through the use of the normal vehicular use of the two official languages in the percentages to be determined, which may not be less than 25% in both cases “.
Therefore, all linguistic projects of Catalan educational centers that do not contemplate Spanish as the vehicular language of instruction and do not establish the minimum presence of Spanish in 25% of the actual teaching hours are null and void.
“Pluralism and coexistence”
Parents who have requested bilingual education have been advised by the AEB, which in the coming days will formally request the Department of Education to issue the pertinent instructions so that all language projects adapt to the constitutional model and recognize Spanish and Catalan as vehicular language of teaching. “It can be concluded that the sentences nullify the mandatory language immersion model in Catalan as it is considered contrary to the Spanish Constitution,” says this association.
It adds that “linguistic pluralism in Catalonia and the recognition of our diversity has taken a giant step forward with the judgments of the TSJC” and values that it has been “the effort of hundreds of parents who, with their perseverance, have achieved a linguistic regime that is more favorable to the social reality of Catalonia and will make it possible to finally put it into practice. Coexistence in the classrooms wins. “