Schools 'coping' with nine fold rise in foreigners
5 December 2006
MADRID Spain's leading educationalist said on Tuesday schools are coping “quite reasonably” with a nine-fold increase in the number of immigrant students in the past decade.
Alejandro Tiana, head of the Spanish education system, said the surge from 60,000 to 550,000 foreign pupils brought “a very significant change in the educational system”.
The children of immigrants now constitute 7.4 percent of all elementary and secondary students in Spain, he said.
Spain's new basic law for education includes provisions to adapt schools in order to “integrate them (the immigrants) and do it well,” Tiana said, adding that the legislation also establishes the principle of equality in funding among all state-supported educational institutions.
Latin Americans represented 47.2 percent of the foreign-born students in Spanish public schools during the 2005-2006 academic year, according to a recent report, though Moroccans account for the largest contingent of immigrants from a single country.
On another matter, Tiana said that the teaching of Spanish as a second language is on the rise in Europe, with Castilian rivalling French and German for the No. 2 spot behind English.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]