José Ignacio Wert’s controversial education reform has been called into question yet again by online Spanish daily Público.
His insistence on enforcing Castilian Spanish as a lingua franca in schools in Catalonia has angered many parents and politicians in the region who see the move more as a means of undermining their culture than a way of improving the schooling system.
Parents and politicians are also concerned the new rules will undermine the prestige of the region's own Catalan language.
Official government data published in Publico.es justifies to some extent their scepticism, as Catalan children achieved better results in Spanish than the national average.
In fact, their scores were higher than those of all the other Spanish regions with another official language: Galicia, the Basque Country, the Balearic Islands and Valencia.
Wert’s Lomce educational reform has been widely criticized in other regions, notably with regard to the language issue.
Thousands of teachers and parents took to the streets of the Balearic Islands' four capitals in late September to protest against a new trilingual education law which will place more emphasis on English rather than on Catalan.
But as Wert said a year ago: “Our intention is to Spanishize Catalan pupils so they feel proud to be both Spanish and Catalan and are capable of keeping a healthy balance between the two identities.”