This is the question with which Josep Maria Jarque provoked the debate on the first day that we are again in the waiting room of the General Directorate for children and primary, invited to make contributions to the draft Decree on inclusive school that the Department of Education wanted to start. He was convinced that it was possible, despite the fierce criticism he made of the decisions made by the same department over the last eight years.
José Maria was one of the most influential professionals in the development of the inclusive school in Catalonia of the last 40 years. I knew at the beginning of my work process in Terrassa the CPT Fatima (Families grouped by Tutelar Childhood Less Apt); he took over the project that the founders of the center did.
CPT Fatima represents an innovation in many aspects. Meaning only the one that has been his usual proposition. The overcoming of the medical model and the multi professional care of the disabled. Fatima became not only a reference for Catalonia, but also in Spain.
Pedagogue innovator and therapist Josep Maria Arque and Jutglar, did not have the title of teacher until the year 1970. He told me laughing as in the 60s to refuse to do the 15 days of service to the “phalanx”, did not give the title. Despite the “phalange”, José Maria doctored without going through the University. His stay in the Department of Education as Chief of the Special Education Service between 1980 and 1987 was a basic milestone. Firstly, the model of attention to disability is placed within the educational model. Special education is with him fully within the education system and a paradigm shift begins, which takes us first from the integration processes in the 1980s to the current proposal for an inclusive school decree, secondly for the construction. Of a network of services including the first five multi confection teams Vic, Terrassa, Sabadell, Mataró and Sant Andreu in Barcelona that eventually transformed into the current EAPS.
A very important legislative and normative change is initiated, which is reflected in the fact that 67% of students with SEN are enrolled in 1995.
The internal and external tensions due to the rapidity of the changes and his physical state led him to be replaced, later he receives the cross of Saint George of the Generalitat of Catalonia for the work developed.
Despite being outside the system the scientific and creative work of Josep Maria has no limits. There are proposals, red stripes that we cannot let jump:
“Progress must be made in interdepartmental coordination for the integral attention of the student and for his transition to adult life”.
“It is necessary to promote socio-educational plans and programs with local administrations, such as environmental education plans, which contribute through work and network learning to provide continuity and educational coherence in the different educational spaces of students, in order to achieve the Inclusive schooling, educational success and social cohesion ‘’.
“The active participation of the parents or legal guardians and, where appropriate, the student”.
Often the coincidences made us defend joint proposals without talking about it, this was one of them:
“The schooling of pupils with special educational needs will be done according to their individualized plan as determined by article 10 of this provision and in accordance with the current admission process. All pupils with special educational needs will attend regular schools as established in the international guidelines, the Education Act and article 14 of this decree. And exceptionally in special education centers if the parents or legal guardian so request and if the conclusions of the psychopedagogical evaluation dictate that it is a student or a student with special educational needs derived from severe and profound limitations of intellectual functioning And adaptive behavior requiring measures and supports, which are not yet available in ordinary schools ”
He added, “When these measures can be offered in ordinary centers that will have to be changed”. As if warning me that I should be attentive to the changes that the educational practice are producing.
Thus for days we were opining and proposing in an open space to the opinion and insinuating a proposal of model that we all especially liked Jose Maria.
I liked his stubbornness to repeat the things he believed important, as showing certain mistrust with those around him. “Inclusive school has nothing to do with educational inclusion. Inclusive school demands that “the educational projects of the centers should consider the curricular, methodological and organizational elements for the participation of all students in ordinary school environments, regardless of their conditions and capabilities” (article 46.2 of the LEC). Thus, in an inclusive school, today and thirty years ago, the pupil with special educational needs is one more pupil ». It is true, but we all know of the difficulties of the school to do so, we all know of the positions of teachers and families facing attention to diversity, we all know the pressure of the private system or certain health sectors to get out of school everything they think they can do. And finally we know of the facility that the centers have to give to the other, if the other solves the problem or how easy it is to segregate by saying that you include.
It was easy that in the dialogue we had, there were authors and/or teachers representing the new opinions: I was very much in agreement with Roger Slee, “inclusive education is not a kind of new special education. Way of fighting against failure and exclusion and a clear denunciation of poverty and the conditions of inferiority of a good part of the population, as well as collective indifference, which those who do not suffer show before the suffering of others. The inclusive school is therefore, above all and above all, a political position, an ethical project. Or Gordon Porter’s views on the last coming to Barcelona said that “Take the resources of the special school and put them at the service of inclusion”, “is right, we are making a bad use of the resources we have, but I believe in the Catalan school. And it will be inclusive, Jaume assured…
Jaume Francesch Subirana