The courts have suspended the decree that places Catalan as the vehicular language in schools

The courts have suspended the decree that places Catalan as the vehicular language in schools
The courts have suspended the decree that places Catalan as the vehicular language in schools

Barcelona (EFE).- The High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) has declared the suspension of the validity of decree 91/2024, of May 14, approved by the Government, which regulates the linguistic regime of the non-university education system and which places Catalan as the vehicular language in schools and institutes.

The organization Asamblea por Una Escuela Bilingüe (Assembly for a Bilingual School), which fights to increase the presence of the Spanish language in the educational field, appealed the Decree, which was admitted for processing at the beginning of June and which has been suspended by the contentious chamber 5 of Barcelona of the TSJC, presided over by Judge Javier Aguayo Mejía.

The suspended Decree establishes the linguistic regime of the non-university education system by regulating the use and teaching of languages, the development of the linguistic project of educational centres and the regulation of the knowledge and use of languages ​​by teaching and non-teaching staff.

The decree was issued after it was noted that there has been a decline in the use of Catalan in recent years, both in the educational and social spheres in general.

Decree on the linguistic regime of the educational system

On May 14, the acting Government approved the Decree on the linguistic regime of the educational system, now suspended, in order to strengthen the Catalan school model and also to provide legal security to educational centers.

The courts have suspended the decree that establishes Catalan as the vehicular language in schools. EFE/Enric Fontcuberta

In this sense, the suspended text establishes that Catalan is the language “normally used” as a language of instruction and learning and establishes that the Department of Education will validate the language project of each centre and assume responsibility for its legality.

In the ruling, dated July 3, the judge noted “signs of violation of fundamental rights, beyond questions of ordinary legality, in its aspect of the right to receive education in the Spanish language, since the regulatory development of the decree configures a unique system of free education, where only Catalan, or where appropriate Aranese, are considered as normal vehicular and learning languages.”

In this sense, it rejects that the Decree is “empowering language projects to determine the presence of Castilian in each school”, without establishing “a minimum guarantee for the use of said vehicular language beyond the teaching of the subject of Castilian language and literature”.

Arguments

The judge also points out that the Catalan legal regulation of 2022, which constitutes the framework for the development of the suspended Decree, “has been questioned before the constitutional jurisdiction for not guaranteeing a minimum presence of Castilian in education” and that “it has been admitted for processing by the plenary session of the Constitutional Court”.

He also criticises the fact that the regulations examined, in their development, do not confer the status of vehicular language in teaching to Castilian.

The judge also sees the rule as “harmful to the individual rights of certain students, due to the empowerment of the language projects of each educational centre to configure a teaching system without adequate presence of the Spanish language.”

The courts have suspended the decree that establishes Catalan as the vehicular language in schools. EFE/David Borrat

The ruling adds that “it is not appropriate in this case, nor in the context of a special fundamental rights process, to make a judgment, from the point of view of normative technique, on a new regulatory norm, approved by a government in office.”

A regulation to provide legal security to educational centers

The suspended Decree was approved to “strengthen the Catalan school model” and provide the educational community with a regulatory framework that develops the principles of the Catalan Education Law, which had not been subject to regulatory implementation.

The suspended regulation establishes that the Department of Education will validate the project of each center and will “assume responsibility” for the legality in all cases.

According to the suspended decree, Catalan is “the language normally used as the language of instruction and teaching in the educational system”, according to “simply pedagogical criteria” and in the reception of newly arrived students, and Aranese is used in the centres in Aran.

It also indicates that Catalan is the language used in educational activities, including complementary activities, extracurricular activities and educational services, internal communications within the centre and in those for external projection and relations with the rest of the educational community, according to the text of the suspended regulation.

The Decree also indicates the linguistic competence of students and teaching staff.

For this reason, it establishes that teaching staff at non-university educational centres must prove higher knowledge (C2), oral and written, of the Catalan language and Aranese, in Aran, which is why it establishes the C2 level of Catalan as a requirement to access teaching from the 2025-26 academic year.

 
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