Saturday, October 23

The reform of the Baccalaureate arrives with controversy: “conservative” and thought for the big cities

In the end, everything is the resources. It is the difference between designing a good plan and implementing it successfully and one that, seeming to be a good idea, is not implemented well. This is what some high school directors fear is going to happen with the reform of the Secondary School that has been designed by the Ministry of Education and that the autonomous communities are analyzing these days.

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It happens, for example, with the change from three high school itineraries to five. “If the offer could be guaranteed, the optimal thing would be for there to be even more high school degrees,” explains Raimundo de los Reyes, former director of the institute and president of the Fedadi managers association. “The problem is that you have to combine this with reality, and the reality is that the centers have limited organizational possibilities and in small towns there will not be enough students to form the groups, so they will not be able to offer it.”

This reflection by De los Reyes is the common point among all the directors consulted on the Education reform: well done on paper, difficult – if not impossible – to implement in practice in certain places: outside the big cities, The vast majority of the centers no longer offer the Baccalaureate of Arts due to lack of students, it goes without saying that they will not offer the two itineraries only for Arts that are created now. The same thing that happens now, on the other hand.

The Government’s proposal proposes creating five high school itineraries where there used to be three: Science and Technology and Humanities and Social Sciences are maintained, Arts is expanded, which happens to have a path of Music and Performing Arts and another of Plastic Arts, Image and Design , and a fifth route is created, called General, halfway between one and the other. For Secondary, the applied or academic mathematics that the students had to choose is eliminated – although it was never fully implemented -, the entry of compulsory Philosophy for the Baccalaureate is left and some new subject is created in ESO, such as Training and Personal and Professional Orientation.

“It is a conservative reform,” says Toni Solano, director of the IES Bovalar de Castellón. “Almost everything is left in the hands of the autonomous communities, which may or may not apply it.” His colleague Eva Bajén, from IES Cinco Villas, in Egea de los Caballeros, has also observed this discretion and asks that “although it is very good that there are many electives, it is necessary to control that students cannot study many subjects at the same time, that then what is happening in Aragon happens, we have students in the third year of ESO with 13 subjects “.

The catch-all of the General Baccalaureate

One of the biggest novelties is the creation of a High School itinerary called General, which proposes less ability to choose subjects to those who take it and which seems intended for those who do not have a clear or defined vocation. De los Reyes insists with his augury of the offer. “The institutes are going to have to offer three baccalaureates where they offered two [porque el de Artes no está en todos], and organizationally it will be complicated, “he explains,” if you have neither the minimum student body nor the teaching staff to dedicate to, then they will have to offer two, and which ones. You can make it mandatory by law, but then there is practice. In the end, the option that seems so wide is not so wide. ”

Bajén, the director of Aragón, states that it could end up being counterproductive. In his institute, he says, they currently offer the Arts itinerary because there is enough demand, but it is the only one until Zaragoza. “It may well happen that by dividing the Baccalaureate of Arts in two I will be left with no students for any”, he puts himself in the worst situation.

Solano adds another popular thought among directors. “That they have created a general baccalaureate may be a good idea to not have that specialization [que conllevan los otros] and get the title, but for practical purposes we see that it is to place those who do not have a place in Vocational Training. Having another group of 35 students in an institute is relatively cheap, more than the offer of FP “, he says, alluding to the shortage of Vocational Training places, which has left thousands of students out in Catalonia and Madrid.

And then there is the fear that this itinerary will end up being the exit of the one who does not know what to do. “Who in the 4th year of ESO has it clear, it is clear. And when there is a general Baccalaureate it will be the choice of those who do not want to do the Baccalaureate”, Solano predicts, remembering the rebounds of the FP. “When you finish it, what career do you go to? The ones you don’t want to go to. In addition, each subject has a scale for the university entrance exam and if you do subjects that are not well considered for the career you want to choose , does not give you the note “.

Ana Cobos, president of the Confederation of Psychopedagogy and Guidance Organizations of Spain COPOE, nevertheless believes that this third way “is well planned” because there are students who do the Baccalaureate “to be police or firefighters, or simply to access an opposition. Why do they have to define themselves so much? ”

Goodbye itineraries

A well-valued aspect of the reform comes before the Baccalaureate, but it also marked this stage. “That the itineraries disappear is good”, agree De los Reyes and Bajén. “Putting students on itineraries at 14 or 15 years old, and being conditioned, was closing doors at a very young age.” When the former minister José Ignacio Wert designed the Lomce, he applied a model by which the student body had to choose between the academic path, which led to the Baccalaureate and probably the University later, and the applied one, which led to the FP. This measure was always labeled as segregating, because it decided the fate of the students when they were very young, and it was never fully applied. But there it was.

Solano looks with concern at the Education proposal – it is still a draft, susceptible to change – and observes that the new structure of ESO continues to have a 4th grade for Mathematics A and a 4th grade for Mathematics B, among which they will have to choose the students – there are no more details in this regard in the Education document. “It seems that everything is organized around Mathematics, if they are easier or more difficult,” he points out, given that, except Physical Education, the compulsory subjects for all High School itineraries are letters (Foreign Language, Philosophy and Spanish Language and Literature).

Finally, this director points out that this reform would have been a good opportunity to regulate the creation of areas that appear in the law. Lomloe gives educational administrations the possibility to put subjects together in the same class and give them as a transversal whole, but it does not go into detail. Solano believes that “a good way” to do it would have been to define what they are and what teachers can teach them – in Secondary it is regulated what subjects each teacher can give – so that the communities would not do it. He also proposes to establish them for 1º of ESO, to facilitate the sometimes complicated change from a school and the methods of Primary to an institute and secondary education.

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