The Balearic Parliament approves the Training Legislation that doesn’t embrace Spanish as a vehicular language


02/23/2022 – 12:31

The plenary session of the Parliament has approved this Tuesday the first Education Law of the Balearic Islands, without the consensus of most of the opposition on issues such as the linguistic model, which has focused much of the debate, and also with discrepancies regarding the choice of center or treatment of concerted education.

PP, Cs and Vox have voted against the law -with Cs abstaining in some sections-. In the plenary debate, only one amendment from the deputy from Formentera was accepted.

The text of the law finally does not include Spanish as a vehicular language, a point that had been introduced by virtue of an agreement with the PP during the parliamentary process, but which has been revoked after a last-minute pact closed this Monday between the partners of the government.

Thus, the points that included the vehicularity of both Spanish and Catalan and the optional possibility of using a foreign language as the language of instruction have been rejected, with the vote against the ‘Pact’ parties and in favor of PP and Cs. The PSIB has requested a separate vote for this, allowing these sections to fall out of the opinion.

The rest of the text of this article on the linguistic model has obtained the vote against PP, Cs, Vox and the deputy Maxo Benalal, and in favor of the rest of the groups.

From the opposition parties they have accused the PSIB of having given in to pressure from its partners while the ‘Pact’ groups on Monday justified the change in that the PP had not agreed on the complete model.

On the other hand, the text shields what is known as the ‘decree of minimums’, which establishes a minimum of 50 percent of teaching hours in Catalan and the autonomy of the centers to decide the rest. From the opposition they have reproached the Government that the law was born without collecting the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court on the minimum of 25 percent of hours in Spanish in the model of Catalonia.

The PP deputy Margalida Durán has reproached the ‘Pacte’ parties for the “excuse” they have given to justify the change in the vehicularity of Castilian, assuring that the PP informed the minister last Friday that they would vote in favor of the amended points , against two points that they considered “unconstitutional” and that they were going to abstain in the rest.

“But you decided to blow up all the bridges,” Durán protested, criticizing the fact that the left announced this Monday, “without a prior call,” that “everything negotiated was worth nothing, that weeks of work were without effect” . “In the end, everything was decided yesterday in an office,” he denounced, urging the PSIB to explain “why it follows the Catalan model contrary to the Constitution.”

In this sense, the PP has warned Minister March that “it has failed to ensure that the first Balearic Education Law is based on consensus and lasts”.

Likewise, from Cs, Juan Manuel Gómez has criticized the “PSIB trilerism game” for “insulting parliamentary work by reaching agreements in offices only with partners.”

According to the orange group, “that is the only desire for consensus” that has been worked on by the ‘Pacte’. He has also denounced that the Government “has made it clear that it does not want to respect court rulings.”

The deputy of the PI Lina Pons has lamented precisely that the language has ended up becoming “the battle horse throughout the presentation” and that there is talk of “a linguistic and not an educational law”. The PI, which has supported the article on the linguistic model, has also reproached the Government groups for not having been able to achieve the desired consensus, and the PP and Cs for having “bought the message from the extreme right”.

For his part, the Vox spokesman stated that “the true objective of the law is to shield the predominance of Catalan.” “How absurd that in the original country of Spanish, a child cannot be educated in Spanish,” said Jorge Campos, who has promised to repeal this law if Vox comes to have government responsibilities.

On the left-wing benches, MÉS per Mallorca has criticized the opposition’s arguments, pointing out that saying that the rule puts Spanish at risk “is like saying that giving aid to small businesses puts Amazon at risk.” Joan Mas has assessed that with the wording of the law “a new TIL is not possible” and has said that the PP “is nostalgic for the Bauzá legislature”.

Gloria Santiago, from United We Can, has affirmed that in the linguistic section the law is “a reflection of Balearic society” because the two languages ​​​​are co-official. “Whoever sees a problem in this, is that the problem is him”, she has said, considering that the minimum decree “is a victory for society” and calling for “loyalty” because “the pacts rule”.

For its part, the PSIB has passed very briefly on the linguistic aspect, limiting itself to pointing out that Balearic society has “a culture and language of its own that structure it and project it towards the world” and that “law category is given to a model of consensus”. The deputy Carles Bona has dedicated the rest of his intervention to make a general review of the law calling for “signing a social contract for the future”.

5% of GDP to education

The law also sets as a goal to reach an investment of 5% of GDP in Education in eight years; foresees the elaboration of a plan to progressively reduce the ratios; it intends to extend education from stage 0 to 3 years, increasing places and making it free over time; measures for the labor equality of workers of the concerted and the public; and promotes the offer of vocational training, among other objectives.

Apart from the linguistic aspect, from the opposition they have also criticized issues related to education for students with special needs, the choice of center and the treatment of the concerted.

Among other sections, Durán (PP) has claimed to recognize the right of parents to freedom of choice of center at all educational stages, to create a sectoral table for special education teaching, and to agree with private centers as a complementary network both in early childhood education and in vocational training, among other aspects.

At the same time, Gómez (Cs) has claimed a single zone against the “social engineering model of Podemos” with schooling according to proximity requirements, which “undermines the law of opportunities.”

Gómez has also considered that the law treats the concertada as “subsidiary” instead of complementary; he has advocated allowing families to decide whether they want to send their children with special needs to regular or special education centers; and he has spoken out against promotion with failing grades because “it is not the solution to cover up school failure to put an end to it.”

For their part, the ‘Pact’ parties have claimed progress in the law, although United We Can and MÉS have stated that they would have liked an educational law “without religion”, “but the Parliament is not sovereign for that”, he pointed out Joan Mas, from MES. United We Can has defended an amendment, which has not been accepted, to suppress references to religion and “free public education from teaching religiouss”, in the words of deputy Gloria Santiago.

United We Can has also valued having included in the law free school supplies for the lowest incomes and the teaching of democratic memory.

From MÉS per Menorca, the spokesman, Josep Castells, has valued some advances in the law, such as the improvement of the financing of the public ‘escoletes’, but has lamented that in general the norm “falls short to leave behind the educational model the last century”.


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