Summer is here, and with it children finish school and return to their homes. And like every year we face the challenge of what to do with them, where to put them, shall we send them with their grandparents, etc. .. But this summer it’s a little bit different, if in recent years the economic situation has been complicated, and more and more families are in unemployment, finding it more and more difficult to meet basic needs, including feeding their kids. And Summer meant a bad period for these families, since school represented the main, if not the only meal, for a large percentage of children in Spain. But not only does this drama worsen year by year, now on top of it we must add to this two other issues that only worsen the situation for the next school year, and make us parents think that perhaps kids are actually better off out of school all together.
On the one hand we have the man-driven steady deterioration of the Spanish public education system. Being deprived of resources, with a steady reduction in the amount of funds assigned to each school. In winter the heating is must be turned off, the school books must be reused til the extreme, meals are meager, and those subjects with higher cost are removed or reinvented.
With teachers, rather than encouraging a valuable profession, the people who left to care and teach our children, the future of our society in a sort of way, are left tooless, rewardless, and fingers that our child will find that motivating teacher that has still not lost his/her will to enlighten the young with some brilliance.Teachers on leave are not replaces, thus those remaining do extra hours, wages are lowered, courses are removed, briefly institutional bullying by the government is the word of the day. We all have memories of a school teacher or school we positively remember. And perhaps not because of what he/she taught us, but by the attitude he/she protraid, that inspired us in some way.
All this forced deterioration is accompanied by a message of constant vilification of public education system as inefficient, costly, outdated, slow, source of criminality, marginalization and all the evils that you can imagine. While the private and especially the state-sponsored “concertada” (private but with state funding) is attributed will all kinds of merits, as if the state’s contribution was unexistant in both economic and lawmaking terms. A recent study showed that the overall cost of public and “concertada” per student, is the same. But why are there then all these attacks? Well on the one hand, it justifies the sector cuts and prioritising funds elsewhere (saving the banking sector), and on the other hand it helps to pish for the privatization of the sector.
The other worrying development to come after the Sumemr is the arrival of the new Education Law (the LOMCE or Wert Law). This new law will incorporate many gems like reintroducing religion as a main subject (not present since the dictatorship) or breaking the language consensus with the Catalans that has existed for over 35 years. It has already been said a lot and a lot about this law, but now its arriving. Education Laws are kind of a fashion in Spain, this is the seventh education law being adopted in the last 35 years. This means chaning the subjects, the courses, the names of the years, the way exams are taken, the books, everything. I wonder if any Spaniard has ever managed to do his/her full education within the same education system. And by the way, when will an education law that are agreed with teachers, principals, mothers, fathers? And not a law that only takes into consideration the political inclination of the party in government.
What happens in other countries? Everyone always mentions Finland, but not to go so far, we can settle for closer countries. I doubt there are other countries in which government between government systematically change the educational model. It is nonsense and a clear sign that education remains an ideological battleground where politicians want to brainwash the little ones to ensure the future of their own.
We can expected warm summer in Spain but warmer as kids get back into class in September. Prepare your towels and bathing suits.