Read in Catalan

Spain's Popular Party (PP) continues its crusade against the Catalan school system. The largest party of the opposition right has this Monday registered a parliamentary bill that aims to create a High Inspectorate of Education, a body of inspectors that will monitor the Castilian (Spanish) language in Catalan schools and punish educational centres and the Catalan administration if they do not apply Spanish legislation correctly. The PP also says that these inspectors will ensure that school do not indoctrinate their students.

The text states that this high inspectorate body will guarantee that students can receive an education in the official language of the Spanish state anywhere in Catalonia. The initiative proposes that the inspectors belonging to this body will have the status of public authorities, and will this be able to act ex officio or through a judicial complaint process when "they observe infractions" that will involve passing on their observations to the central Spanish educational ministry in Madrid, as well as proposing responses, and if they see conduct in the classrooms which constitutes a crime, having the ability to refer it to the public prosecutors.

More extreme than ever

According to the PP, the High Inspectorate will also "check" and review all curricula, textbooks and teaching materials, and will ensure that subjects are taught in accordance with what the law of the Spanish state sets down. In addition, they will "verify" that the studies which students complete are in line with the vision established by the Spanish state's educational legislation. According to the proposed text, the PP wants to check the regulatory compliance with the specific administrative documentation that applies to each level of education, and also to check that grants and scholarships meet the general criteria, and to publish an annual report on education in the autonomous communities.

The PP has never gone in the direction of an intrusive and aggressive text targeting the Catalan school model, not even in the era of José Ignacio Wert, the former education minister who asserted the need to "Spanish-ize" Catalan children. The bill reads as follows: "If the measures adopted by the competent body of the Autonomous Community are insufficient and persist in infringing the rules, the Spanish ministry of education may, on its own volition, implement the provisions of state legislation, to the extent, if necessary, of voiding the official status of the education concerned and refusing to issue the corresponding qualifications".

Against the Catalan government, too

The Supreme Court ruling against Catalonia's long-standing policy of Catalan language immersion in schools has emboldened the PP to launch a new campaign against the Socialist-led Spanish government for maintaining its dialogue table with the Catalan government and resting its parliamentary stability on support from pro-independence formations such as Catalonia's ERC and the Basque Country's EH Bildu. From Castelldefels, the PP spokesperson in the European Parliament, Dolors Montserrat, has urged the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, to break with his partners if they do not comply with the Constitution, in clear reference to the ruling of the Spanish court, as well as the pro-independence intentions of both the Catalan and Basque parties.

Thus, Montserrat denounced that Sánchez was being "cynical" in demanding that the Constitution be complied with "to the letter". "We demand that he make his partners comply with the Constitution, starting with Article 1 in defence of territorial unity and, if not, he should break his agreements with them," she said.