Spain, among the countries in the world with the greatest freedom of education

Do Spanish teachers have freedom when teaching your students? According to the 2016 Teaching Index of the OIDL NGO, our country is ranked number 10 out of a total of 136 countries that represent 94 percent of the world's population. The organization has taken into account the public financing of private education, the possibility of creating and managing non-governmental schools, the net rate of schooling and schooling in the private-agreed system.

In this ranking Spain has achieved the tenth position with a total of 281 points. The first country, on the other hand, is Ireland with 398 points; followed by Noriega (353), Belgium (352), Malta (326), Denmark (312), United Kingdom (305), Chile (303), Finland (301) and Slovakia (298). This is the first time that this organization, which has consultative status with the UN, Unesco and the Council of Europe, has developed this classification in collaboration with the Novae Terrae Foundation.

Education in Spain

This NGO argues that in Spain "the debate on the financing of non-governmental schools is very politicized", although it emphasizes that it is an "effective practice" the cession of public spaces (floors) for the construction of private-concerted centers by the autonomous communities.

The report indicates that in Spain the enrollment rate in Primary is 98 percent and that in Private-arranged educational centers with respect to the total is 33 percent. It also indicates that public spending on education is 9.2 percent, which, in relation to GDP, represents 4.4 percent.

Spain has achieved its good score in the ranking thanks to the fact that the country has ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations and the Convention against discrimination in education.

Improvements in education in Spain

Despite the good results, much remains to be improved. The report mentions that schools can be created and managed outside the public network in the country, but also warns that home education is not allowed ('home-schooling), since all children between six and 16 have to be in school. In this sense, the authors of the study defend the legalization of this practice as a "Good indicator of the trust of the State in the parents and in the civil society".

On the financing with public money of private educational centers, the report says that it depends on the autonomous community and that all the costs of schooling of the students enrolled in this system are not covered. In this sense, he explains that the current Spanish law, the Lomce, allows the cession of public land for the construction of charter schools.

Concerted education

The report, which makes a detailed study of Spanish educational system, confirms the debate that exists in the country about education concerted by the almost majority presence of Catholic centers. Of course, the authors show that this debate is "non-existent" in Northern Europe, except in Sweden.

This division between the North and the South of the continent is not only observed in the debate between public centers and private-funded centers. It also occurs in the field of education differentiated by sex.

Angela R. Bonachera

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