After hearing Catalan Education Minister Josep Bargalló struggle to explain what the next school year should be like, I remain even more convinced that it is urgent for us to make a big effort on a national level in the field of education, ahead of schools reopening for the 2020-21 academic year.
Such an effort should be driven by society as a whole, involving the public and private sectors. I don’t know what the appropriate simile would be in the case of the ventilators that SEAT built for Catalan hospitals, but our school system needs ventilators of its own: more teachers, volunteers —if necessary—, additional classroom space in public or privately-held buildings to be used by schools whose premises are too small [to accommodate social distancing]. Additionally, our government, teachers, students and parents must find the courage to overcome the hurdles they will encounter along the way.
There has never been a more fitting time to notice the depressing limitations that Catalonia’s fiscal chokehold imposes on every one of its governments: now, precisely when we need to start a complicated school year and we are so out of pocket.