New Basque Education Law and School Segregation

The new pact reinforces concerted education which maintains a segregated society.

After reaching an agreement, the Basque Parliament approved the bases of the new education law that will replace the current law of 1993. The new educational pact proposes an update of the Basque educational system so that it is adapted to the current educational context and the new forms of teaching. Thus, the law seeks to promote coexistence and diversity in educational centers.


In theory, the objective of the agreement is that private schools are able to participate in the fight against segregation and social exclusion; agreeing that in order to receive public financing they would have to satisfy the requirements that guarantee social inclusion. However, numerous experts have pointed out that the text reinforces concerted education.


Consequently, what is actually happening, is the approval of a law that creates an even more segregated educational system, which goes against the proposed agenda. With this measure, public education tends to become even more precarious and only serve less favored students. On the other hand, the concerted schools maintain elitism by serving students from the most privileged classes.


In the Basque Country there are 248 concentrated schools, which make up 35% of the total number of educational centers in the community, accommodating 48.8% of the Basque student body. The new reform perpetuates the inequalities of this dual system since, in these centers families pay an average of 100 euros in school fees (which eliminates the real gratuity that this type of institution should have).


For this reason, an open letter has been prepared for the Basque Parliament on the educational agreement signed by F. Javier Murillo, director of the UNESCO Chair in Education for Social Justice at UAM. This, because the new law does not address or propose solutions to the current and future problems of education in the Basque Country.


In conclusion, there is an urgent need to create a law which safeguards human rights, in this case of minors, guaranteeing that the basic educational needs of students are 100% financed and providing special help to those who find themselves in complicated social situations. This is the only way school segregation and social exclusion can be greatly reduced.


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