Education reforms are passed despite opposition
15 December 2005, MADRID — Controversial reforms to Spain's educational system were approved by the lower house of parliament.
15 December 2005
MADRID — Controversial reforms to Spain's educational system were approved by the lower house of parliament.
The Organic Education Law was approved in the Congress by 184 votes to 134, with 7 abstentions in the Congress.
The government managed to get their reforms passed by calling on the support of six minority regional parties.
They will then go to the Senate or upper house, before finally being returned to the Congress and passing into law.
The government claims the reforms will improve primary and secondary education and bring Spain into line with the rest of Europe.
They have claimed the EUR 7 billion programme will allow regional governments more power to modify school curriculums, give school authorities more scope to decide school places and ensure children start learning a foreign language at a younger age.
But the conservative opposition Popular Party (PP) along with the Catholic Church, students groups and teaching unions oppose the measures for a variety of reasons.
Last month, members of the PP, the Church and Catholic groups called a demonstration in Madrid against the proposed law.
They object to part of the law which would make religious education optional not obligatory and no longer a graded subject.
And they oppose another measure which will also change the financial framework for public-funded schools run by the Catholic Church.
The left-wing National Students Union also protested against the reforms claiming they would lead to a more selective education system.
They want the government to promise there will be more investment in public education, which would mean spending seven percent of the national gross product on education and two percent on university education.
Teachers unions also supported these claims.
After a series of protests, the government made a number of minor amendments to the bill, none of which satisfied the PP and Catholic groups.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news