The Catalan Government will not renew from next year, 2022-2023, the concert in the 11 Catalan educational centers, all of them Secondary, which currently segregate their students by gender in the classrooms. The measure will affect 139 ESO groups and 3,850 students and will have an economic impact of 15 million euros.
It was announced this Tuesday by the Minister of Education, Josep González-Cambray, during the press conference after the Consell Executiu that has been held as every week without alterations, everything and being a holiday in Catalonia (October 12). “We have nothing to celebrate,” the spokeswoman, Patrícia Plaja , recalled at the beginning of the appearance.
“We will not publicly finance any school that continues to separate boys and girls in classrooms, which increases (gender) stereotypes and legitimizes sexism,” said the minister. Educació has notified this Tuesday morning the decision to the employers’ association FAPEL (Federació d’Associacions de Pares i Mares d’Escoles Lliures de Catalunya) and the affected centers, among which there are also four other concerted Baccalaureate, which train 251 students.
The decision does not affect Primary because the renewal of concerts in these schools is in force until the 2026-2027 academic year because, at the end of the 2021-2022 academic year, the validity of the concerts of the second cycle of Infantile expired . At the time of updating the concerts, the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC), “forced the Department to renew concerts at schools that segregate by gender as a precautionary measure,” said the minister. Now, the Government is waiting for the sentence, which they hope “will not be favorable” for the Catalan executive either.
“The school must be free of any type of discrimination, gender, origin, religion, language or socioeconomic situation of the students”
(Josep González-Cambray, Minister of Education)
However, González-Cambray has remarked that, “there is increasing legal coverage that supports this decision” and the minister has been “determined not to allocate public money to the concerted centers that separate boys and girls in the lessons”.
The legal coverage is, according to the head of Education, the one given by the Llei d’Educació de Catalunya, which specifies that the centers that segregate students will not be financially supported, and the modification of article 83 of the LOMLOE (the new state education law), in its 25th additional provision, which indicates that “to promote effective equality between men and women, the principle of coeducation will be promoted in all educational stages and students will not be separated based on their gender.”
The minister also recalled that the Parliament of Catalonia urged last week (within the general policy debate) to withdraw the concert from these educational centers with the favorable votes of all groups except for Cs, Vox and PPC and the Deputy of Units per Avançar Ramon Espadaler. “We have legal backing and we respond to a social demand and to what the Government urged us to push forward,” he added.
He has also referred to a survey by the Center d’Estudios d’Opinió (CEO) that indicated in 2018 that 85.1% of those surveyed were “in disagreement with the fact that the Generalitat finances with public money the schools that they segregate by sex “. ” The school must be free of any type of discrimination, gender, origin, religion, language or socioeconomic situation of the students.”
The 11 centers that would lose the concert
The 11 educational centers that would be affected by this measure of the Government from the next academic year are mostly religious and conservative. They are the following: The Col·legi Canigó de Barcelona; the Col·legi Pineda and the Col·legi Xaloc de L’Hospitalet de Llobregat; the La Vall de Bellaterra Institution; La Farga Institution and Viaró Global School of Sant Cugat del Vallès; the Col·legi Bell-lloc (in the photo above) and the Institució Les Alzines de Girona; the Lleida Institution (Lleida and Alpicat); the Escola Campjoliu (L’Arboç, Tarragona) and the Institució Tarragona (Reus).
Deployment of 284 digital mentors
Another of the announcements made by the Minister of Education this Tuesday has been the incorporation as of January 1, 2022 of a total of 284 digital mentors or technical teaching advisers who will accompany, each of them, 15 centers per course until August 31, 2023, “to respond to the challenge of moving towards digital competence and training of students and teachers”.
This deployment will cover the digital needs of 3,541 Nursery, Primary, Secondary and post-compulsory studies centers in Catalonia and is one of the most ambitious measures of the 2020-2023 Digital Education Plan. “For the first time, the schools will have the intensive presence of an expert who will advise each of them in their educational and digital transformation,” explained the minister.
Educació began last year, marked by the pandemic, providing digital devices to students and centers. The coronavirus “has accelerated the digital transformation of Catalan schools”, recalled González-Cambray, who indicated that more technological infrastructure will continue to be added to make Catalonia “a leading country in the educational use of technology.”
The department expects that 80% of teachers in public and subsidized schools will be equipped with the necessary digital skills, specifically, more than 92,000 professionals who will be specifically trained before the end of the 2022-2023 academic year.