Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bites my bias

I try not to be too biased here, or too offened and try to be fairly neutral, or open minded, or cynical or questioning, I guess they're all the same thing depending on how you look at it.

The Catalans here go on about the fact that kids in other parts of Spain can access a computer during primary or secondary school, either free or heavily subsidised through the school system.  This is not available here in Catalunya, if the parents want to get a computer, they have to cough up.  100%.

I kinda didn't believe this, until pickle, who has just moved to to a pueblo (village) in Southern Spain, mentioned in passing that she was filling in the grant applications to get computers from her kid's primary schools.

Now, Catalunya is, in Spanish finances, a have province, as in they have a fair amount of power, and pay in more taxes to the National system than they get back.  I don't have a problem with this in principle, I come from Ontario in Canada, another province that puts more into the system than it gets out.  I think that all kids in Canada and Spain should get equal access to health care, schooling, good roads yadda yadda yadda.

But that's just it, it should be equal.

Our kids don't get free computers.  Yet we pay more taxes.

No wonder the Catalans get pissed.  I'm pissed too.  No one's buying my kid's computers but me, myself and I...well, and the man of course.

Anyone know if this is true for other parts of Spain?  Kate?

There are also strong rumours  - as of yet not personally verified, that the pensions here are also lower than in other parts of Spain.  That bites too, if it's true.

5 comments:

elpadawan said...

Doesn't sound very fair... Did you try searching for any law that would explain this difference?

Beth said...

As you well know, equalization payments do not always benefit all who are in need. The “have” provinces have many children who go without while subsidizing the “have-not” provinces. All children should be given priority & equal access...

kate said...

Damn, I can't believe my whole comment just got eaten! Second try:

No free/subsidised computers in Madrid, though the autonomous regions decide how they spend their budgets, so it may be a matter of how different regions view their needs and prioritize their spending.

Also, there are provisions for those with specific educational needs deriving from social/economic/geographical disadvantage, and some rural areas are considered to have this disadvantage. There may well be state funds allocated to providing these schools/communities/students with resources that may or may not include computers-- just guessing here, and I have no idea if that applies to pickle's pueblo or not.

In any case, I somehow doubt that highly-subsidised computers are widespread throughout Spain. But who knows.

And I will also say that over the years of living here I have become convinced that a not insignificant portion of the blame for the "lack of funds for public services" issue may be laid at the feet of politicians (not thinking of anyone in particular here) who use their power and influence and public funds for their own political and financial gain rather than for the good of the people they are supposed to be representing...

kate said...

oreneta, I just re-read that post of pickle's, and while maybe she will chime in here and clear it up, I will say that I interpreted it as that she had written a grant proposal to get computers (not new ones, she mentions) for her local elementary school-- not for her individual kids. And she didn't say who the grant was funded by. I know that schools here have a fairly small discretionary fund that teachers request things from, and there is a school board meeting where they look over all of the proposals and decide which ones get funded. At my school our photocopier just died and they had to use a big chunk of the money to replace it...

oreneta said...

ElP, that's what it sounds like....

Beth, true indeed, though it is hard sometimes to hear every side which is why I am so glad that

Kate has chimed in! I thought you would know something about this! While I don't want to say that I am glad that kids in Madrid don't all get free computers, I am pleased that this seems to be being handled on an as needed basis from what is said, it would be interesting to look further into it. I should go and reread pickle's post again too, I read it twice and came with a different interpretation....gotta go check again