The Generalitat shows popular support for immersion in Catalan before the execution of the Castilian sentence | Catalonia

Demonstration called by the Somescola platform against 25% of Spanish in Catalan schools.
Demonstration called by the Somescola platform against 25% of Spanish in Catalan schools.Enric Fontcuberta (EFE)

The Generalitat tries to rearm itself to face a stage that is coming full of stumbling blocks for its political action. The Government has been between a rock and a hard place due to the setbacks it has received from what it calls “State apparatuses”. The court ruling that requires schools to provide 25% of classes in Spanish has had a direct impact on the waterline of an executive who is already limping forward due to the misgivings and constant confrontations of his partners.

Today Thursday, the president Pere Aragonès will appear together with the Minister of Education Josep González-Cambray to explain what strategy is going to be marked for the next school year. A presentation that is called with an unusual anticipation, seven months before another return to school arrives, and that coincides in time with the presentation of a timely survey carried out by the Center for Opinion Studies (CEO). The current linguistic model in Catalan schools generates citizen consensus, as stated in a dossier presented this Wednesday by the director of the CEO, Jordi MUñoz.. To the question of whether he agrees with applying measures that serve to defend the current model of linguistic immersion, in which Catalan is the only vehicular language, 76% of those surveyed answered affirmatively.

The results appear at a time of full debate about the court ruling that requires the introduction of a 25% quota in classrooms. Jordi Muñoz, director of the CEO, pointed out this Wednesday that the bottom of the survey responds to criteria chosen by the technicians of the demographic institute itself, unlike previous times, when it was the ministries of the Generalitat who directed what questions to ask. Despite this, the conclusions are very similar to the framework lines that the Government has set for this legislature. This is the case of the closed defense of the linguistic model at school. “It draws the map of public opinion very well,” says Jordi Muñoz. This Thursday Pere Aragonès will appear together with the Minister of Education Josep González-Cambray to explain what strategy is set for the current school year.

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Waiting for the details that Aragonès can give today, the clock for the execution of the sentence that requires giving a minimum of 25% of classes in Spanish is already ticking. The Generalitat already acknowledged receipt of it last Monday, with which it now has two months to implement the new system. If it does not, the central government or the people affected by the ruling -for example, the families-, will be able to urge the forced execution. One of the unknowns is whether the Executive of Pedro Sánchez will take the step. Meanwhile, the Government has assured that it assumes responsibility for what may happen in an attempt to take pressure off teachers, who are concerned about the possibility of being trapped in a dynamic of disobedience. At the same time, the Generalitat has announced a battery of legislative measures to modify the system with which classes are taught and that would focus on changing the traditional assignment of subjects with a specific timetable to what they call a pedagogical model focused on competencies. This would dilute the subjects but it would also make it more difficult to verify whether or not the ruling of 25% of subjects in Spanish is being complied with.

In any case, the survey presented yesterday by the Government itself supports the current model. As far as language in education is concerned, “perhaps the most interesting debate”, admits Jordi Muñoz, is that 76% of citizens say they agree with what is established by the current immersion model. “It denotes a great consensus”, argues the director of the CEO. However, support varies depending on one’s mother tongue. The survey shows that a higher percentage of Spanish-speaking people have been interviewed and breaks down that, among these, support for immersion is 50%. Among those who declare themselves Catalan-speakers, support for the current school model rises to 95%. According to Jordi Muñoz, the thoroughness of the report allows us to know how immersion is accepted among the different groups of voters. More than 90% of those who declare themselves voters of Esquerra, Junts or the CUP applaud the model. He is also massively supported, 96%, by those who say they vote for En Comú Podem. Among the Socialists, support drops to 64%, and plummets among the supporters of Ciudadanos, PP and Vox. When asked if they are given to linguistic exchange, six out of ten Catalan speakers say they switch to Spanish when this is the language of their interlocutor. Six out of ten Spanish-speakers say they consider it a sign of rudeness to continue speaking in Catalan when the conversation can be in Spanish.

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Beyond the classrooms, the CEO also shows coincidences with other topics that have come to occupy the regional executive’s agenda. Just when the Department of Climate Action has made public an ambitious commitment to the deployment of wind and photovoltaic power, the Center for Opinion Studies reports that up to 75% of those asked affirm that they are satisfied with the implementation of renewables, “even if they have impact on the landscape. The conclusions presented are based on the answers given by 1,929 people, over 16 years of age, and who were contacted during the last week of December. “We want to study the socio-political attitudes of Catalans regarding new issues, which are relevant in the debate social”, indicates the presentation of the survey.

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The CEO has also sought to know the public opinion related to the current climate emergency scenario. Apart from the supposed support of 75% of those surveyed for the deployment of infrastructure for renewables, there is a resounding opposition to measures such as the increase in gasoline prices or the imposition of tolls, either to drive on expressways or to enter large cities.

Finally, the CEO tries to find out the degree of acceptance generated by pandemic management. 68% of those asked said they support compulsory vaccination. On this point, those who are most inflexible are those over 65 years of age.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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