Working on Education

Rafael Puyol. Professor. IE Business School

29 April 2010

The latest proposal for a new Spanish education model includes some good ideas. The only remaining problem lies in the details, but then that is the most difficult part of sealing any agreement.

I have read the proposals for Spain’s new social and political education model in detail. It is the second document to be issued by the ministry following the new proposals received from the educational authorities, political parties and other citizens and educational organisations in response to the first ministerial draft. The new text contains 12 objectives for education for the coming decade (2010-2020). These 12 objectives are broken down into 137 proposals for changes to a system that is evidently open to improvement. The proposed actions include the tacit recognition of mistakes and an attempt to of revive a creature that lies languishing in mediocrity.

It is my opinion that no one can honestly disagree with the main objectives or with the great majority of the measures the document includes. It is true that many of them come from a mixed bag of good intentions and that all the need now is a schedule, a budget and implementation. But it is a draft that is open to discussion in order to reach a final consensus among the players involved, which include not only the political parties, but also social agents.

The problems with the document are almost certainly not to be found in its contents, but rather in what it has left out. Most of its content could provide a platform for basic agreements that would undoubtedly improve every level of the education system. However, for it to become a reality, it needs other things Spain’s Popular Party, and certain autonomous communities are not willing to surrender.

Some of those things are undoubtedly within the bounds of reason, but they stand as serious impediments to agreement.

We are facing a complicated dilemma that must not lead to indifference. It would be ideal to reach agreement on an excellent education model, but if that is not possible, we need to work on the system before it starves to death.

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