|Spanish Education Minister Jose Ignacio Wert|
The Spanish government is asking the Catalan Government to pay 6,057 euros annually for every pupil that enrols in private education in Spanish if there is no such an offer in the public system. Catalan is the main language of instruction in schools in Catalonia, but this has caused a conflict between the PP government and the Catalan executive that is now coming to a head. Madrid says that Catalonia should pay for this private education if it refuses to make Spanish the language of instruction together with Catalan. Recently, the State Council, the Spanish Government’s main advisory body, asked the Ministry of Education to “reconsider entirely” its decision.
The plan of the Spanish government is to pay the sum of 6,057 euros to every child enrolling in private education because his or her family is not satisfied with the linguistic offer in the public system. Afterwards, Madrid will ask Catalonia to pay this money back.
Irene Rigau warned that there are no private schools in Catalonia offering full education only in Spanish. “The move aims to create a new offer, it is not designed with current education offers in mind”, she said in an interview. “There is not a single private school offering all classes in Spanish”, she warned.
According to the Catalan Minister, the Spanish Government “is not hiding” its intention to introduce “the Basque model” in Catalonia. In the Basque Country, there are schools teaching only in Spanish, bilingual schools and schools teaching only in Basque. “Our model is different, we don’t separate pupils for language reasons”, she warned. “The final results at the end of compulsory education show pupils’ linguistic competence” in both Spanish and Catalan, she added.
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