Beatriz Arnedo, November 20, 2021
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They have highlighted it in their contributions to the draft of the II plan of the Basque language of Ollo
The second strategic plan for Basque that promotes Citizen Relations, the department of the counselor Ana Ollo, from Geroa Bai, proposes studying the possibility that all Navarrese schoolchildren receive Basque classes at least as a subject (the current model A) in order to have “a minimal knowledge”. It has been one of the most criticized points in the public participation process to which the draft has been open until November 11. The plan has received around fifty proposals. Many reject the possibility of offering that minimum of Basque to all children and argue that this would violate the linguistic zoning of Navarra and would go against the freedom of families when choosing the education of their children. They question this point, from CONCAPA, the FamiliaE Association, the Hablamos Español Association, Navarra Civil Society to the AFAPNA union and the UGT education sector, which believes that this article could be illegal because it goes against the principle of voluntariness that specifically includes the Basque Law.
This law regulates the linguistic zoning into which the established statutory Community is divided according to the use of Basque, that is to say, its sociolinguistic reality. Based on this, Basque is only co-official with Spanish in the Basque-speaking area, the one located in the north. Then there are the mixed zone and the non-Basque speaking zone.
In the allegations, CONCAPA or the UGT union recall that in the Basque-speaking area the teaching models A (in Spanish with a subject in Basque), B (teaching in Basque with Spanish as the subject and language of use in one or more subjects are authorized) and D (in Basque except for the Spanish language subject). In the mixed one, you can choose between the A, B, D and G models (only in Spanish) and in the non-Basque-speaking one, the A, D and G.
For this reason, several of the contributions agree that model A in Spanish with a Basque subject is offered throughout Navarre and it is the families who decide whether to choose it or not.
CHIVITE HAS THE LAST WORD
One of the aims of the II Basque plan is that more children go to school in this language. It indicates its intention to promote this schooling with a communication strategy throughout the year. On the other hand, it proposes developing “permanent” strategies to promote learning in Basque “and especially in the south of Navarra, of Basque in Early Childhood Education”, includes the draft plan for now.
Faced with the position of Ollo and her Geroa Bai group, in Parliament, both President María Chivite and the Counsellor of Education, the also socialist Carlos Gimeno, have stressed that the last word on this plan will be the Government, which hopes to approve it before the end of the year. Chivite has already stressed that those who so choose will continue to study Basque or in this language. Gimeno stressed that his department is not going to promote enrollment in any specific educational model and that this will not change “beyond what the plan to promote Basque may say,” he stressed.
THE COMPANIES AND THE POSITIONS
The CEN, Navarra Business Confederation considers that the measures of the plan in support of companies that use Basque or promote it compared to those that do not “can generate inequality in dealing with the administration.” It has also criticized that they were not called to participate in the table in which the Basque language was addressed as it is an economic agent.
Several entities such as CEN question whether the offer of VET qualifications in Basque can be expanded and ask that demand be met in this regard.
CONCAPA NAVARRA: “There is a violation of the principle of voluntariness”
CONCAPA Navarra, federation of small and medium size public and subsidized educational centers, considers that the plan “violates” the principle of “voluntariness” that the Basque law includes, when it proposes universalizing the minimum knowledge of Basque in schooling. “Eliminate the choice of the other possible models.” It should be noted that throughout Navarra, model A is offered to whoever voluntarily wants“ “This objective of universalizing what is already universal and voluntary is not understood”, unless what “is really intended is, as it seems, that you want to establish the obligation” to learn Basque.
In addition, it points out that it would mean loading schoolchildren with a more “and not exactly simple” subject. It thinks that the starting problem is that the plan focuses on the “supposed recovery of a language” as an objective and not “on the right” of Navarrese to express themselves in it if they wish.
It points out that recognizing that the only relationship of many schoolchildren with Basque is at school is an indicator of the extent to which “the focus is not on the well-being of Navarrese.”
FAMILIAE ASSOCIATION: “The freedom of choice of families must be respected”
The FamiliaE Association, families for the freedom of education, maintains that trying to make model A compulsory throughout Navarra “collides with the sociolinguistic reality, the legal framework and the will of the majority of Navarrese and their freedom of choice of language.”
It criticizes that, on the one hand, there is talk of “giving prestige to the Basque language” and “on the other, it is intended to impose, against the will of the majority, a language that one does not want to know” as is the case of families who have chosen a model that does not include it.
It also questions the increase in the offer of studies in Basque in VET and in the universities included in the plan. It argues that it must comply with the “real demand that exists”, since “this implies creating teaching positions with a linguistic requirement”, which “discriminates” against the majority of Navarrese “who do not know the Basque language”. It points out that the same happens with extracurricular schools, “whose offer must be based on voluntariness and their financing must be in accordance with the real existing demand.”
Cen EMPRESA NAVARRA: “It can generate inequality in the treatment of companies”
The Navarra Business Confederation (CEN) warns about “the possible positive discrimination that will be generated between companies that use Basque compared to those that do not”. The plan includes measures such as increasing the visibility of services and identifying companies that use this language. The CEN emphasizes that today it is a “minority language in Navarra” that “a large part” of the companies in the Autonomous Community do not use it or plan to do so, therefore “it can generate inequality in dealing with the administration”.
Regarding promoting VET degrees in Basque aligned with fundamental axes of economic development, it indicates that the priority is to cover the existing demand given the lack of professionals with these degrees, and not to divert funds to “less urgent” aspects.
The CEN also regrets that it has not participated in the table that has dealt with Basque as an economic agent, as it is an interlocutor and representative of the entire Navarrese business fabric.
UGT federation of public services: “On bilingual positions they must act in a proportionate manner”
The Federation of Public Services of UGT Navarra asks that the number of bilingual jobs in the Administration be acted on “in a proportionate way and with common sense”. It emphasizes that there are already personnel who can attend in both languages who are in non-bilingual positions. It indicates that the majority of Navarrese are not Basque speakers “so it is not possible to implant linguistic profiles” which later hinders their access to positions. It remember the judicial pronouncements in this regard. It asks that the zoning in printed forms, documents and image of the Administration be respected. The UGT education sector questions the “universalization” of model A in teaching because “it would eliminate the principle of voluntariness” from the Basque Law and it could be “illegal”. It stands out that it is offered throughout Navarra for those who want it. Regarding increasing the offer of VET in Basque, it asks that its demand be studied, since there is already a lack of places in Spanish that leaves a good number of students out.
Afapna personnel commission of the ISPLN: “The increase in bilingual places that hints at is worrying”
The members of the AFAPNA union in the staff committee of the Navarra Institute of Public and Labor Health are “concerned” about the increase in bilingual jobs “which suggests the strategic plan in its application in the Administration”, since they believe that it must be adjusted to the demand that arises “freely” and “to the existing reality”. They remember that “for the most part” the population living in Navarra does not know Basque, so increasing the places in which it is required “will close access to the majority of Navarre, both for examinations and for hiring.” “All citizens have the same right to opt for a place under equal conditions and that the number of places in Basque exceeds the needs diminishes that right”. In addition, they defend that the budget of Euskarabidea and the offer of courses to the personnel is proportional to the demand. They believe that the funds allocated to training exceed the real needs, to the detriment of other courses. And they criticize the idea that all schoolchildren have a minimum knowledge of Basque.
Navarre civil society: “It is unnecessary and has nothing to do with the Navarrese social reality”
Navarra Civil Society proposes that the plan be re-elaborated “from a more plural point of view and respectful of current legislation and reality.” It believes that it is “unnecessary” and is based “on a reality that has nothing to do with the social reality of Navarra”. It wonders why the plan doesn’t cite linguistic zoning listed as “something to overcome.” The plan proposes to guarantee a “sufficient” presence of the Basque language in the subsidized activities of leisure, culture or sports for children and young people and this entity wonders if this zoning will be taken into account. It questions how the desire to guarantee the economic viability of the Basque-language media is reconciled with free competition and asks about the role of Basque technicians that they “intend to deploy” to “monitor the proper use” of Basque in public services. It also criticizes the proposal that all children in Navarra should learn the Basque language and asks if the current system is going to be modified.
Double 12 cultural association: “It shows the obsessive determination to prioritize the Basque language in everything”
The cultural association Doble 12 maintains that the draft of the plan “shows a more than debatable social reality” and “starts at all times from an interventionist philosophy, wanting to change the reality that they do not like because they are not Basque enough.” “The entire document exudes an obsessive effort to prioritize Basque in all areas, teaching, media, administration, signaling … To do this, consequently, it raises another of the obsessions of nationalism: increasing the number of bilingual jobs in the Administration”. It demands that linguistic zoning be respected. It asks the Administration to “rationalize resources and use them effectively and efficiently.” “It is not acceptable that administrative services are duplicated to obsessively meet a small demand in Basque.” Among other points, it criticizes the skipping of “all barriers” and “legal limits” when the plan proposes to study the possibility that all children study Basque at least as a subject.
Pompaelo cultural association: “The plan must assume the social and linguistic reality”
The Pompaelo association believes that the measures of the plan are summarized in the allocation of public funds to all activities that facilitate or promote the use of the Basque language: “This is called market manipulation, creating a subsidized or directly public demand for services, different from that generated by the sociolinguistic reality ”, an“ artificial Basque industry, a subsidized bubble ”and gives as an example that the plan proposes financing media“ without a real market ”or content“ without real demand ”. It indicates that whoever wins an election has the right to promote what he wants and highlights the interest of the Basque language for the culture of Navarre, but adds that there are two limits: the proportionality between the resources dedicated and the importance of the objective and the rights of the Navarrese. It asks for the plan and its measures to be reviewed “assuming” the “social and linguistic” reality, “improving the voluntary component” and incorporating other perspectives to “ensure all the legal rights of citizens.”