There are few things that have been questioned and generate as much tension in Spain as education. If we have to ask ourselves why, the most obvious answer is that education in our country has been linked very directly with something that also causes a lot of debate and agitation, politics. It has taken advantage of its power to control education from the institutions and impose its ideology, especially in certain autonomous communities. In search of a solution, LA RAZÓN convened the colloquium "Imposition through education. Public school and concerted school », in which César Sánchez, president of the Diputación de Alicante; Gari Durán, doctor in History, representative of the Balearic Civil Society and vice-president of the Jaume III Foundation; Begoña Ladrón de Guevara, president of the Confederation of Parents of Students (Cofapa) and Alfonso Aguiló, president of the Spanish Confederation of Teaching Centers (CECE), both nationally and in Madrid.
The politicization of education has been evident for decades, especially in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, and more recently in the Valencian Community. In this last region, Sánchez explained, "the autonomous government, apparently a white and neutral brand, has tried to implement a unique (nationalist) thought through education and using language as a tool for it."
In the Balearic archipelago, during virtually all of democracy, the linguistic issue has been linked to the politician, with a clearly Catalanist sign. This link began in 1986 with the Law of Linguistic Normalization, which establishes Catalan as the language of the islands. That reality was hidden for most of the citizens, but the independence challenge has brought it to light. Therefore, Durán confessed that "paradoxically, we must thank the outbreak of the procés because it has made the Balearic problem known."
From the associations linked directly to education, as CECE and Cofapa ask that, as Aguiló said, "in the educational debate not between politics", that it does not "influence children, their families and teachers," added Ladrón de Guevara She also demanded that politicians do not intend to reduce educational models to only one, but that there should be "plurality so that parents can choose".
However, in the system of some communities there is an imposition of the model, as assured Sanchez, especially oriented to the use of the language. Sanchez said that is demonstrated in the decree of plurilingüismo in the Valencian Community, that "somehow coerces families who want their children leave school with a B1 degree in English, because that will have to choose the curricular line in Valencian »
In the same sense, he admitted, the elimination of the educational concert (the cancellation of funding with public funds to private centers to increase the number of students who can access them) "requires that families have only one educational option", go to the public centers, controlled by the nationalist trade union of the Treballadors de l'Ensenyament del País Valencià (STEPV).
And in that way, the independence movement manages to gain control of education as a whole, not just the public one. For Sanchez, with the objective of avoiding it, "the State must try that nationalism is not in education".
That is just one of the solutions that can be carried out. For Thief of Guevara should "favor that there are other unions with different ideological lines." Because instead of imposing a slope, different options should be proposed. That is to say, he added, "substitute" or "for" and ", so that pluralism really exists". In addition, he believes that citizens should take an active role, participate and raise their voices. In the words of the Balearic Civil Society representative: "it is necessary that civil society intervenes and offers itself as an instrument so that the empire of indoctrination does not reach success".
Meanwhile, César Sánchez believes that the solution must start from the administrators themselves: "It is impossible to solve this problem without tension and political solutions. If we think that with reason and theory we are going to change things, we will fail ».
On the other hand, Aguiló advocated to promote "critical sense and analytical capacity. Because in these times it is easier to communicate, travel … but also be manipulated. Therefore, we must make an effort to impregnate ourselves with opinions different from ours to create a personality of our own ».
Of course, in a tax system it is extremely complicated for a student to develop that critical spirit. Textbooks, full of manipulations, especially those of History, develop in the minds of students a very clear line of opinion from young people. Durán said that "the crude indoctrination is combatible (because people notice it more easily), the problem is to fight against the subtle because it creates a mental outline in the citizen and, later, you do not need very elaborate ideas to convince him of something" .
Indoctrination is created by public administrations and the politicians who manage them. Therefore, to distance politicians from education seems fundamental, although César Sánchez stressed that "without politics you can not get politics out of education." It is necessary that the rulers discuss with some tension what is the right path, and that this debate reaches society to be convinced of the harm caused by the imposition in education and, also, to know that there are solutions.
Public / Concerted
As has been said, one of the impositions that has recently experienced the Valencian Community has been the elimination of the public concert. The objective is to reduce the number of concerted centers, which have always been seen as something closer to private education. However, César Sánchez stressed that "concerted education is public and is an instrument of freedom", because it opens the range of available curricular centers and paths.
But Alfonso Aguiló said that "it may not be appropriate to say that the agreement is public because it seems you say it is subject to public power (and may end in indoctrination). I think it is better to point out that it is supported by public funds ». Likewise, believes the very functioning of our society shows that it is totally legitimate that education can result from a public-private partnership: "The public space in a democratic society need not be managed exclusively by a public administration." And he gave the example of the political parties themselves, which occupy public spaces, such as the Congress or the Senate, but they are private organizations; and the same happens with the unions.
The debate on the existence of concerted education has been entrenched in recent years in society. While the public system suffered large cuts, the media descended and there were fewer teachers for more students, citizens perceived that in this situation should be eliminated public funding for schools managed by private entities.
However, society is unaware of certain realities hidden around education that could change their opinion, such as Durán sentenced: "A perpetual blackmail of the concerted by certain governments is detected. These administrations make the agreement of the centers depend on whether or not they adhere to a certain educational line. It happened with the subject of Education for citizenship. Catholic schools (in some communities most of them are concerted) were belligerent and then they were not. "