Would you sit with a Jew in class?


High school students from Mata Jove and Father Feijoo Schools(Spain) face a debate on cultural diversity in classrooms during a conference against racism

“Does cultural diversity enrich the Spanish educational system?” Forty-three young first-year high school students from the IES Mata Jove and Padre Feijoo face each other in order to answer this unknown question that the “I League of School Debate” proposes to them, which is part of the XII Conference against Racism and xenophobia driven from the City Hall.

The event, which has the support of the “Habla Gijón Association”, was held in the premises of the IES Padre Feijoo with an atmosphere of the most professional. A jury composed of teachers from both centers, a chronometer projected on the waxed so that none of the speakers overstepped their time and an audience that commented with the next to the answers and proposals of his colleagues on the stand to make them more nervous . It all started with the draw of the positions they should play. The “H2O Venado” group – which played at home – was called to advocate yes, that is, in favor of the hypothesis that cultural diversity enriches the Spanish educational system.

By discarding, the representation of IES Mata Jove, the group “Natural thought”, was seen and wanted to argue against. Natalia Chacón López, Sergio Fernández Blanco and Noel Martín Pita had to throw the rest to defend something in what they did not believe. When they knew the position they had to take during the debate they fell silent and their countenance became serious. How to defend that in the classrooms would be separated by race and religion to the students? More even with colleagues present from other races. The reasoning put on the table by Noel Martín was based on that if the coexistence generates problems, the best thing to avoid them would be to prevent in a same classroom the presence of immigrants with autochthonous.

In front were the prompt response of Aroa Resch Cárcaba, “Regardless of religion or race, we are all different,” he warned, warning that individual classes would be unfeasible. “We have asked our fellow foreigners if they feel uncomfortable and everyone agrees that they feel integrated,” Resch said. Nevertheless he put on the table other data, newspaper articles, which allowed him to defend that 46% of young Spaniards are not willing to share desk or duties with Latinos or Jews. “How is it possible that the two data that it contributes are true,” replied Noel Martín. Both groups entered fully, with energy and passion, in the dynamics of the debate.

This initiative, which seeks to have students from the 1st year of Bachillerato (between 16 and 17 years) learn to argue and debate in a fluid and agile way on a specific subject, began last quarter with a training given to students on speech and communication. Now, already instructed, there is another practical phase composed of twelve debates that will determine, as a “league”, which are the two teams better prepared and trained for the debate of the eight participating in both centers. After an “all against all”, this first edition will culminate with a final between the two teams that score the highest and that will be held on March 31 in the auditorium of the Integrated Municipal Center Ateneo de La Calzada.

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