“No to bilingualism if it includes Spanish, but it does with other languages.” An institute in Barcelona offers this course an activity free extracurricular on Moroccan language and culture for ESO students, while “90 percent of the centers state in their language projects that extracurricular activities in Spanish are prohibited,” according to the complaint. Assembly for a Bilingual School (AEB), an entity that has been fighting discrimination against Spanish in Catalonia for years.
«The Catalan school sometimes does not close itself to bilingualism. Sometimes it values other languages and cultures different from the one that is expressed in Catalan … », says the entity on its Twitter account. “Everything is easier when it is not in Spanish,” he stresses. The entity supports multilingualism but censors discrimination. “We are not against learning languages, it seems enriching, although as long as you do not go to any”, the president of the AEB states in a statement to ABC. Ana Losada. “After school to learn Arabic yes, but no Spanish outside the classroom,” concludes the president of the AEB.
The extracurricular is offered free of charge on Riera Baixa institute, located in El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona), and is aimed at first and second year students of Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO).
Arabic culture as an optional subject
On the other hand, as ABC announced, since 2018 several Catalan public institutes have taught Arabic culture as an optional subject in a pilot plan promoted by the Generalitat.
Some of the centers participating in the pilot program are the Pompeu Fabra Institute of Martorell (Barcelona), the institute Mont Perdut de Tarrasa (Barcelona), the Baetulo de Badalona (Barcelona) and the Martí Dot of San Feliu de Llobregat (Barcelona), all of them due to the diversity of origins of its students, especially Moroccan, and with experience in teaching this language, since they had previously offered it in an extracurricular mode. The action of the department of education is framed within the Arabic Language and Moroccan Culture program, in which the Generalitat has participated since 2004 as a result of the cultural cooperation agreement signed in 1980 between the Moroccan and Spanish governments. Until it began to be taught as an elective, the subject had been offered after school hours.