Staff Reporter
LEADER of the Council of Majorca, María Antonia Munar, claimed yesterday that immigration has increased illiteracy rates on Majorca over the last decade. In a speech bound to draw criticism, she alleged that people arriving here from certain parts of the globe are not “able to integrate” and “have a very low level of education” without knowledge of either Castillian Spanish or Catalan languages. Munar was speaking yesterday at a Press conference announcing the opening of the academic year of the National Open University (UNED) which, she said, “could play a key role in raising the level of education and training in the Balearics”. Munar claimed that “ten years ago, there was no record of illiteracy on Majorca,” and said that the Council of Majorca has planned to organise an adult education programme to alleviate the situation. The Council's leader reported a rise in the number of pupils registered at the Open University, although she said it was a pity that young people on Majorca “go out onto the job market so soon”. She believed that this made it difficult for them to get started on a university career. A typical profile of someone enrolled on an open university course, Munar said, would be a student in the region of 34 years of age, with a job and family commitments. She stressed the “social function” of the academic institute, and how the degrees that it offers, open up alternatives in the “job markets of the future”. The director of UNED in the Balearics, Miquel Angel Vázquez, gave prominence to the fact that the Open University aims to contribute to the growth of educational levels in the Balearics, since the Islands currently register as being inferior to the national average in terms of the number of people with university qualifications. Continuing this theme, Vázquez drew attention to the increased number of courses available, including tourism, neuroscience and European Constitutional studies.


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