dimecres, 5 de desembre de 2012

Spanish government and Catalan independence

As most of you already know, the movement for the independence is growing in Catalonia since several years ago. Last November 25,  pro-independence parties won the elections for the Catalan Parliament and more than one hundred seats of a total of 135 support the idea of having a referendum about this issue.

One could expect that in front of such a situation, Spanish government would work for the reconciliation between the Catalans and the rest of Spain and would offer to Catalans some of their demands to show that it is not necessary the secession from Spain in order to accomplish our collective projects. Nothing further from the truth. Two days ago, Spain's education minister said he was drafting a proposal to make the Castilian (Spanish) obligatory in schools throughout Catalonia. 

Since 34 years ago, Catalan is the language of instruction in Catalonia's public schools and Spanish is taught as a subject. The aim of this policy is to guarantee that all pupils end their studies knowing both Catalan and Spanish. The model works, and Catalan students not only know Catalan but they also get the same results in Spanish language exams than in the rest of Spain. Moreover, the model has been praised as a good practice by the European Commission and UNESCO.

What is normal in the Swiss cantons or in Quebec, that pupils learn in the own language of the region at school, is seen as unpatriotic in Spain. What is normal in USA, that education is a competence of the regional states and the federal government has nothing to say about it, is considered a threat to Spanish nation. What is normal in Scotland and Quebec, that nations can decide peacefully and democratically their own future, is understood as a sign of weakness in Spain. 

As Ovidi Montllor said, there are some people who don't want that we speak, read, and think in Catalan. They are the same people who don't want that we speak, read, and think.