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DISCURS D'USTEC·STEs AL PARLAMENT EUROPEU: 7/12/17

 

INDOCTRINATION OF CATALAN SCHOOLS, THE BIG FAKE

 


I speak here as a Catalan school teacher. At the present time, I do not devote my work hours to teaching children but to working for my fellow teachers, now more than ever before, because their professional dignity has been called into question.

A collection of fabricated ideas based on lies and prejudice have percolated into the collective imaginary of citizens from the Spanish State and have blindly accepted them as true. These ideas, such as claims that using Catalan in schools leads to the exclusion of Spanish to the extent that using it could be sanctioned; claims that Catalan publishers manipulate textbooks, or that Catalan schools educate children according to an independence single mindset, have been spreadby the Spanish government and the invaluable assistance of the press and the social media.

They are responsible for spreading the oft-repeated fake mantra of indoctrination. When accusing teachers of indoctrinating, their work is being degraded and discredited, and in turn, you are contributing to making society lose respect for educational tasks.

The problems of education in Catalonia have nothing to do with indoctrination. And we will have the time to discuss on them in future, I hope, within a new European state, why not?

Indoctrination? No, ladies and gentlemen. This accusation is a miserable lie, a smokescreen that has been cast over the teaching community to cover up a whole raft of blatant scandals of corruption piling up in the Spanish State, on the one hand. On the other, indoctrination is one of the arguments used for the upcoming Catalan Elections of 21D, in an attempt to give legitimacy to a specific narrative. But let’s take one step a time...

During Election Day, on 1st October, the teaching staff, like many other citizens, bore witness to situations of extreme institutional violence in our educational centres, commonly used for democratic activity.

We have all witnessed this violence. Like many other fellow teachers, like many other citizens. Nevertheless, this “taboo subject” should not be discussed in class, just in case someone happens to report to the judicial authority.

So now, added to the deep damage to our dignity as citizens, now, we, Catalan teachers, are challenged by a whole new raft of lies.

How ironical, what a paradox! Our school system, is firmly grounded on the principles of social cohesion, equal opportunities and peaceful cohabitation. In combination with our educational model of Language Immersion, fully endorsed by a number of linguists across the world, both have ensured that all Catalan children have been given quality education, as accredited by educational reports from the Spanish Ministry of Education and international evidence like the PISA Report. And even UNESCO awarded our system.

But despite the achievements of our current educational model, it has become, in the hands of the Spanish State, somewhat, a weapon of mass destruction that must be destroyed at all costs. Now, to the old obsessions and grudges from the Spanish State towards Catalan language and culture, we might add intolerance towards Catalonia’s school. 8 teachers, among whom there are school principals have been denounced and have appeared before the judge. Even the spokesman of the majority union in education in Catalonia has been denounced and must appear shortly before the judge.

How contradictory! Those who encourage families to report on their children’s teachers and accuse them of indoctrination. Those who, for election purposes, aim to discredit the Catalan school and its language immersion, those are the same who want to use education to impose their tenets and perpetuate their status quo, and widen the gap between the rich and the poor, between those who have the right to good education and those who are not too keen on making it possible.

In fact, our current educational model is into the spotlight. But, shall we stop and think what “indoctrinating” means, exactly? Indoctrinating means inculcating a person with ideas of a specific belief in an attempt to allure adherents. For teachers, this belief is clearly the conception that the school is a learning environment to which everyone is entitled to access; a multicultural and free environment that respects differences, promotes equal opportunities, evens out differences and encourages cohesion and co-education; a conviction that school is a space for peaceful, lay and democratic debate. And what are these adherents we supposedly want to allure? The answer is free children and youngsters, regardless of their places of origin, regardless of their beliefs and regardless of the language they speak. If that’s what “indoctrinate” means, then yes, we do indoctrinate...

We indoctrinate when we teach in Catalan, in a country whose autochthonous language is discriminated against and, at present is, once again, under siege.

We indoctrinate, also, whenever we promote a secular school system.

We also indoctrinate whenever we encourage children to think. Because education means free thinking, free creativity, free expression and freedom in virtually.

We indoctrinate because we aim to create critical citizens who might not be enticed by social media, consumerism, pressure from the media, and malicious tactics of post-truth or the fake news phenomenon.

We do indoctrinate and teach them to be impartial. We educate our students to provide them with the instruments that will turn them into fairer and more self-disciplined citizens.

Because we believe that education constitutes the backbone of the future of our country, we do not indoctrinate them, we educate them into being more supportive and respectful; we educate them to accept that differences -of origin, culture, language, gender, sexuality, faith- far from being an obstacle to cohabitation, all these differences, in Catalonia, they constitute our DNA.

We indoctrinate because we teach our schoolchildren to fight preconceived ideas and prejudice in the guise of truth. Because a state can never be a prison for the language and the culture of other peoples.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, friends and colleagues that are gathered here today, I would like to ask you to spread this message from the Catalan teachers, that I am reading on their behalf. Please, tell everyone that Catalan schools, schoolteachers and educators DO NOT indoctrinate; quite the opposite, we are doing our job, which is educating on the belief that education can be a weapon, surely a weapon, but a weapon of mass construction.

Thank you very much for your attention! Long live education! Keep up the good work, teachers and long live Catalonia!!!

USTEC·STEs (IAC), Parlament Europeu, Brussel·les, 7 de desembre de 2017


linia

afiliat ustec

Perquè som un sindicat que depen en més d'un 90% de teves aportacions i no pas de subvencions... AFILIA'T!
Tu garanteixes la nostra independència.

linia

USTEC·STEs IAC, Actualitzat:

07/12/2017 22:47 (2)