Although Spanish authorities do not collect systematic data on the national origins of students enrolled in primary and secondary schools, reports have pointed out that several cities are faced with high rates of ethnic segregation in the educational sphere. In order to promote a better understanding and management of this phenomenon, Javier García Medina, professor of Legal Philosophy at the University of Valladolid, and Jaime Bonet Navarro, professor of Ecclesiastical Law at the University of Valencia, offered a seminar entitled "Ghetto schools: a challenge for the right to education", on 6 May 2015. This activity was part of the Seminar series on conflicts, multiculturalism and public policy: case studies, and was hosted by Ángeles Solanes, professor of Legal Philosophy at the University of Valencia. It took place in the auditorium of Valencia University's Faculty of Social Sciences and was open to the public.
After pointing to some historical antecedents, Jaime Bonet analysed the relevant Spanish law (the Constitution, international treaties, organic laws and cooperation agreements with religious organisations), with a focus on Article 27 of the Constitution and the case law of the Constitutional Court that defines the right to education and distinguishes it from academic freedom. He addressed the right of parents to choose the type of education they wish their children to receive, with all its concomitant problems and conflicts; the freedom to found and finance educational establishments; the right to academic freedom and its link to school ethos; and religious teaching at different educational levels.
Javier García Medina identifed current human rights standards regarding the right to education, non-discrimination and equality. Starting from these premises, he addressed a series of concrete educational situations in order to analyse their origins as well as to highlight some instruments and projects that could neutralise the impact of ghetto schools.
For pictures of the seminar, click here.
For the full-length video (in Spanish), click here.