The public school, the school of democracy

At the end of the XIX century the krausists -followers of the German philosopher Krause- undertook the immense task of reforming the ancient Spanish education system, eighty percent of which was in the hands of clerical companies. From the Free Institution of Education Francisco Giner de los Rios, Gumersindo de Azcarate Y Nicholas Salmeron they wanted to implement an educational system based on humanism, rationalism, secularism, empiricism and pedagogical complicity between student and teacher.

Soon, despite the anathemas launched by the Government and the Church, the most outstanding intellectual personalities of the moment joined the project, Sanz del Río, introducer of Krausism in Spain and teacher of all, Manuel Bartolomé Cossío, Joaquín Costa, Federico Rubio, Hermenegildo Giner de los Ríos, Rafael Altamira, Leopoldo Alas, Antonio Machado, managing to form during the first third of the 20th century the best and most extensive generation of wise and human Spaniards of history

For institutionalists, freedom of thought and expression they were essential conditions in order to achieve the intellectual and human development of their students. But they were aware that nothing could be done if the student was not comfortable, at ease in the educational facilities: these should be equipped with large gardens, recreation areas, complete laboratories, projection rooms and large libraries. Nor could learning be confined within the walls of stupendous classrooms and magnificent gardens: The city, the countryside, the mountains, the museums, the factories, were for these men essential pedagogical tools, as well as the individualized treatment with the student. Teaching to delight was one of his fundamental rules.

The Institución Libre de Enseñanza wanted to implement an educational system based on humanism, rationalism, secularism, empiricism and pedagogical complicity between student and teacher

Although the Free Institution of Education It started from the particular impulse of a few men – it could not be otherwise when the public powers persecuted their initiatives – its objective, despite those who branded it and brand it as elitist, was not to form a minority that, apart from the people, could govern the destinies of the country in a more or less near future, but rather that their methods “contaminate” the entire Spanish educational system. In fact, the vast majority of people educated in the Institución Libre de Enseñanza they were later professors in institutes and universities from all over the country, including Hermenegildo Giner de los Ríos and José Verdes Montenegro at the Alicante Institute.

The Ministries of Education of Madrid, Andalusia, Castilla-León, Galicia, Murcia, Catalonia and other similar ones seem to have learned a lot from those good and wise men, hence their educational policy based on massive funding of confessional charter schools and in providing barracks-shack to public school. Much has already been written about the interest shown by our “mandarins” towards public education, but unfortunately much will have to continue to be written before their bleeding exterminating stubbornness and the silence of the citizenry, complicit, allied or simply indifferent, even knowing that the problems and conflicts that our society, our children, adolescents and young people suffer today, can only be solved through quality education aimed at inculcate knowledge and ethical values ​​within the framework of a public educational system extraordinarily gifted and aimed at getting the best out of each of our children, always according to their ability.

Convinced of all this, the Community of Madrid has been obstinate for years in close public schoolstransfer money from everyone’s budget to confessional schools where you can only be a teacher if you share the ideas of the catholic company in question, refrains from hiring support teachers for the most retarded, educators for students with difficulties, staff for libraries -if there are any-, pedagogues, caregivers…

The public school -according to its patrons and the neocon educational theorists who advise them- must be the closest thing to a prisonWell, undoubtedly, we have before us the worst generation of students that has ever existed. How good the “manu-militari” of other times would be! No investments, no new pedagogical currents, no applying the teachings of Don Francisco Giner and his people. Here between us money for concerted and barbed wire for those places full of emigrants and spoiled children, barracks discipline, third worldism and exclusion. Given their social background, what more do they want?

In addition to eliminating the public school by starvation, the leaders of the Spanish right are convinced that the concerted school is a supremely effective instrument of indoctrination

In addition to eliminate public school by starvationthe leaders of the Spanish right are convinced that the concerted school – the closest thing that exists to the national-Catholic school of Francoism – is a supremely effective instrument of indoctrination that is making it possible to change the mentality of children and adolescents towards paradigms defended by them.

I am not opposed to private schools, that everyone does what they want with their money, what is intolerable is that the State budgets are supporting thousands and thousands of highly ideologized concerted schools while the public school -the only one that allows academic freedom- is increasingly helpless due to lack of the means it deserves.

The public school, the school of democracy