May 20, 2022 5:22 pm

A mother denounces that the Generalitat Valenciana denies teaching in Spanish to her son with Down syndrome




“The child does not understand anything in class. all the books are in Valencian least two stories in Spanish”, recounts a mother, of Ecuadorian nationality, who denounces the situation that her son with Down syndrome is experiencing at the Pablo Neruda Infant and Primary School in Valencia, where he states that he is being denied teaching in spanish.

The parent, represented by the We Speak Spanish Association, requested on October 5 to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, directed by Vicent Marzà de Compromís, that his son be allowed use Spanish in their academic activities, except in those that refer to the so-called linguistic matters, as well as those that can be used teaching materials in Spanish in the rest of the learning areas.

More than three months later, still no response of the Conselleria nor of the educational center itself to this formal request. «The tasks with numbers and those that have vocabulary with the parts of the body are brought in Valencian. My son already has it very difficult and they insist on adding more difficulties to it, ”explains his mother to ABC.

The minor, who is currently in the second cycle of Early Childhood Education, has been recognized for a little over two years with a degree of disability of 33 percent. Presents a disorder of verbal communicative functions associated with Down syndrome, through which he shows a “practical absence of oral communication” and the “constant use of unintelligible words”, according to the reports presented to the Generalitat.

Image of one of the books that this student uses to learn the parts of the human body – ABC

About, Glory Lake, president of Hablamos Español, affirms that «denying a child education in his mother tongue having a faculty trained to do it is, from the pedagogical point of view, an aberration». Likewise, he qualifies that “doing this with students who have special needs is cruel». “They put the conservation of a language above the rights and welfare of children and on top of that they pretend to say that it is for their good,” he adds.

Both show their “indignation” with those responsible for the center, who alluded to not knowing the request registered by this association to the Ministry, urging them to contact Education Inspection to find a solution that includes using material in her mother tongue with which “she can improve her educational quality and peace of mind in class”.

educational inclusion

For its part, the Ministry of Education has denied to this newspaper that there is any type of linguistic discrimination towards this student, as well as that all the materials are adapted to the learning pace of each minor and that they are not corrected if they speak in Spanish, “but they are also taught to express themselves in other languages”.

“Having Down syndrome should not be an impediment for a student to learn languages ​​other than their mother tongue,” explain sources from Vicent Marzá’s department. “Therefore, denying him this possibility, in addition to discrimination, would be hinder their full inclusion in society in which he lives, “they add.

Likewise, it clarifies that in Early Childhood Education classes “there are no subjects or textbooks, since reading and writing begin to be worked on in the first year of Primary». «The centers are committed to educational inclusion and this implies guaranteeing all the resources so that a student, regardless of their special needs, can learn the basic contents of the curriculum (among which is the learning of languages, English, Spanish and Valencian during their educational trajectory), develop their potential and be autonomous”, he clarifies.

The Ministry points out in this regard that “it is not true to say that the student is not allowed to use Spanish during the time of exposure to English or Valencian”, since “during that time the teacher will speak to you in the appropriate language and has sufficient pedagogical training to be understood by the student so that he learns the different languages ​​naturally and according to his own learning pace»

Lastly, it maintains that if, during the student’s learning process, the teaching team detects that they may have difficulties learning languages ​​other than their mother tongue, “they will apply the resources of hearing and language necessary for it to advance in its development and autonomy”.

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