Last fall, the Generalitat published data from a study by the Higher Council for the Evaluation of Educational Systems (CSASE), according to which the use of the Catalan language in ESO 4th grade classrooms has dropped dramatically in recent years. Among the 3205 students surveyed, for example, only 2 out of 10 said they used Catalan “always or almost always” in group classes, compared to 7 out of 10 in 2006. And only 40% in class. He claims that he addresses teachers in Catalan “always or almost always”, whereas 15 years ago there were almost 60% of such teachers.
As soon as the data became known, the Department of Education of the Generalitat set to work. On November 4, Minister Josep González-Cambre organized a spectacular press conference with the Minister of Culture and senior officials from relevant departments to announce the launch of an ambitious plan in 200 educational centers across the country (primary and secondary, public and agreed) to reverse the alleged declining use of Catalan in the classroom.
Last April, Generalitat published data from another CSASE study based on the same sample of 3,205 4th ESO students. While the above research focused on sociolinguistic aspects, this second additional research focuses on the rest of the learners’ context variables. What do ESO 4th students think of the educational system they are part of? In truth, the results are not particularly encouraging.
When students are asked how much they enjoy going to school, the sum of the answers “not at all” and “somewhat” soars to almost 60%. Those who answer that they like it “very much” make up a measly 9%. With these numbers, it is not surprising that over 57% of students are distracted in class and 40% are not participating in activities. In this context, teachers also do not seem to be very helpful, with almost half of the students surveyed stating that they do not agree with the statement “teachers ask questions that motivate students to actively participate”.
The excitement generated by the sociolinguistic data discovered in the fall was not replicated by these disturbing contextual data. No one has launched any plan to restore students’ interest in school or develop active methods to ensure their participation and involvement in the educational process. Instead of working in this direction, the Ministry of Education and trade unions in this sector are stuck in something that is already beyond the struggle to reach the category of open war caused by the reasonable decision to start the school year on September 5th. as other Autonomous Communities plan to do. There is a problem with education in Catalonia, and this problem is not mentioned by 25%.
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