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Will Catalan minister Josep Gonzàlez-Cambray instruct schools to enforce the court-ordered quota of 25% Spanish language use in Catalan classrooms? The Generalitat's head of education asserts that schools will not have to make any changes, and that the ministry will present an appeal to reverse the ruling issued today by the Catalan High Court (TSJC), which gives 15 days to the minister to issue "instructions" to schools to comply with the final court ruling setting down that 25% of time in classrooms all across Catalonia is to be conducted with Spanish as the vehicular language.

Cambray, in a media briefing at the education department, called for the "maximum political, social and pedagogical consensus" in the face of this new blow against the decades-old Catalan language immersion policy, and explained that the legal services of the Catalan government are now developing the appeal they will have to lodge within five days. Meanwhile, he sent a message of "maximum peace of mind" to schools.

The minister was also strongly critical of this new decision, which is "aberrant" in pedagogical and legal terms, he said, as it legitimizes a third party, in reference to the association Assembly for a Bilingual School, the body that requested the forced execution of the sentence. According to the minister, the legal services of the Catalan government say that this association does not have "legitimate" status to force the application of the decision, and affirms that the court is exceeding its powers.



Beyond this move, Cambray also recalled that they are working on a decree to provide legal coverage to school principals and teachers to continue with their existing language projects, from the perspective that at present there is not enough Catalan in the classrooms: "In the coming years there will be more Catalan as a result of this decree," he said, recalling that language learning cannot be about percentages but about pedagogy, and that the aim is that when students complete their compulsory secondary education, the ESO cycle, they will have acquired knowledge of Catalan, Spanish and English.

"At a critical moment, we ask for a consensus across all areas and fronts to defend our language," insisted Cambray, who said that the more initiatives are made to defend Catalan, the "better". He said this specifically after being asked if the approval of the four-party accord on Catalan between PSC, ERC, Junts and Comuns would help protect the school model. "Any initiative is welcome," said the minister, who said that the more who joined it, the better.

The parliamentary agreement on the Catalan language, consisting of the reform of Catalonia's Language Policy Act was developed at the end of March in Parliament but is currently stalled. At first there was a consensus between these four groups, but in the face of the rejection by key social and linguistic groups, Junts stepped away from the deal until it gained wider support. As soon as today's ruling has arrived, both the PSC and the Comuns criticized Junts for causing the parliamentary amendment to be postponed. This morning, ERC spokesperson Marta Vilalta also said that this agreement was losing time due to the "internal disputes" at Junts.