The Basque Government approves its participation in the Foundation for the Memorial 3 March space in the Zaramaga Church
- The Department of Education increases the “Udalaguntza 2022” call for proposals by one million euros for improvements in municipally-owned schools
The spokesperson for the Basque Government and Minister for Culture and Language Policy, Bingen Zupiria, appeared at the usual press conference after the Governing Council, together with the Minister for Education, Jokin Bildarratz.
The spokesperson Bingen Zupiria informed that the Governing Council has approved its participation in the constitution of the Martxoak 3 Memoriagunea Fundazioa / Fundación Memorial 3 de Marzo Foundation and has approved the Statutes of the future Foundation. As planned from the beginning of this process, this body will be a public foundation, made up of three Basque public institutions —the Basque Government, the City Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz and the Provincial Council of Alava— and the Diocese of Vitoria. And on the part of the social initiative —Martxoak 3 and Memoria Gara— both will participate in the Foundation’s Board of Trustees with four representatives. According to the Government spokesman, the approval of the constitution of the Foundation and its Statutes is a decisive step towards responding to an aspiration widely felt by all the people of Gasteiz, a society that has the events of 1979 engraved in its collective memory; the creation of a memorial on the 3rd of March thus acknowledges the victims and anchors that injustice in their memory. Once the Foundation has been set up, its Board of Trustees will lead the process of creating the Memorial.
The Minister for Education, for his part, gave an account of several important issues related to the Department he heads.
Firstly, he referred to the amendment of the Decree establishing the criteria for the organisation and planning of the network of non-university education centres in the Basque Country. Among the most significant modifications, Bildarratz has highlighted the concept of a more flexible school map, “an adaptive school map that will vary according to the sociodemographic changes that arise.” The school map is understood as the planning and organisation instrument that reflects the supply of the Basque public education service, the teaching it includes and the centres that provide it.
Likewise, and in coherence with the new Admission Decree approved by the Governing Council last November, the new wording introduces the need to take into account the reservation of places for vulnerable students when planning school places, as well as the co-responsibility of all publicly funded schools in the balanced schooling of students who join the education system during the ordinary admission process, as well as throughout the academic year. He also stressed that the new wording of the Decree establishes the maximum and minimum ratios of pupils per unit.
Another issue in the field of education approved this morning by the Governing Council relates to the hiring of the school service for various school transport routes to the public schools under the Department of Education located in the Historical Territory of Gipuzkoa. This school transport service will be aimed at children in pre-school, primary and secondary education and will be allocated 16.4 million euros. “We are talking about an additional school transport service, but we attach great importance to it, as it guarantees universal access to education. All pupils in public schools who meet the minimum distance requirement from their home to the school will be able to use the service,” said Jokin Bildarratz. Due to the large number of routes to be tendered, and with the aim of facilitating SMEs’ access to contracting, the minister explained that contracting files are tendered by territory. It should be recalled that the tenders for Araba and Bizkaia were approved last December.
The Minister of Education has also referred to the increase of more than one million euros in the budget allocated by the Department of Education to coordination with the City Councils. Specifically, through the Udalaguntza call for proposals, the Department of Education finances 60% of the cost of works carried out by City Councils on municipal buildings where public schools are located. With this increase of one million euros, the financial endowment of the call for proposals amounts to 8 million euros.
Once the applications received by the evaluation committee had been analysed, it was decided that 316 of them met the established requirements, which has led the Department of Education to increase the amount. “All the applications that meet the requirements will receive the funding provided for in the call for applications, for a maximum amount of 360,000 euros,” Bildarratz stressed. The Minister of Education added that this initiative, coordinated with the City Councils of the Basque Country, aims to improve educational facilities in areas such as accessibility, refurbishment of façades, improvement of playgrounds and redistribution of spaces, among other actions.
AGREEMENTS OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL
As usual, the spokesperson, Bingen Zupiria, provided information on the agreements of the Governing Council, including the following:
Linked to the cultural field, the Government has decided to allocate 200,000 euros for the year 2023 to the completion of unique and specific projects and activities for the development of cultural audiences in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. As the minister explained, these are unique and specific activities aimed at eliminating barriers that prevent or limit cultural access, at proposing new ways of relating to cultural audiences, at highlighting the importance of interaction between creation and cultural audiences and/or the active practice of cultural audiences.
Likewise, the Governing Council today approved the annual Basque Country Literature Awards, which in its seven categories reward the quality of literary works published in the previous year, thus promoting the creation of writers, translators and illustrators in the field of literary expression. In addition, they allow for the dissemination of the award-winning works and facilitate the knowledge of the authors and the rest of their literary production. Each category will be judged by a panel of five people. The list of award winners is made public in the autumn, when the prize-giving ceremony is held. Each of the winners receives 18,000 euros and a sculpture by José Ibarrola Bellido.
In addition, the Governing Council has authorised the Department for Culture and Language Policy to allocate a call for grants of 2.2 million euros to finance the Basque sports federations’ 2023 sports programmes. Applicant federations must submit a report explaining the sports projects that will be analysed and assessed by a qualification fee. The review will take into account, among other aspects, the sports project, the qualified structure, as well as initiatives to promote equality between women and men and encourage the use of the Basque language.