THE Balearic Minister for Education and Culture, Francesc Fiol, yesterday underlined the necessity to “make every effort” with taking measures to prevent racial discrimination in Balearic schools due to the high percentage of foreign pupils in the islands' classrooms (11 percent, the highest proportion in Spain). Fiol made these declarations during the presentation of the intercultural activities which the Balearic Government has organised for Friday to commemorate the World Day Against Racism and Xenophobia, which took place yesterday. He will be accompanied at these events by the Balearic Minister for Immigration and Cooperation, Encarnacion Pastor.
Fiol said that, so far this year, there had been some “specific” cases “without relevance to racism” in schools on the islands but it could be “corrected” in the school “without giving it too much importance”. Also he commented that, after the sharp rise in foreign students registered in the last few years, a “stability” had now been reached with a rise this year of between three and four percent, similar to the last academic year. Under the slogan, “the only race is the human race”, the Balearic Government is promoting various events on Friday with the aim of making Balearic society aware of the importance of working together to prevent and stamp out racial discrimination. Fiol said that the activities organised to celebrate World Day Against Racism have been especially aimed at secondary education students.
For this reason, the Balearic Ministry of Education and the Ministry for Immigration and Cooperation, have called upon all the students in Majorca's colleges, a total of 180'000, to participate in these events which will take place in the Son Rullan secondary school in Palma. Collaborating in this day, seven elite sportspeople connected with the islands, Samuel Eto'o (Barca), Leonardo Pisculini, Jose Carlo Nunes and Yoshito Okuba (from the Majorcan footbal team), Anthony Stacey and Jan Jagla (from the basketball team Drac Inca) and the Olympic champion gymnast, Elena Gomez. They will read a declaration via a video which will be projected on Friday and which during this week will also be promoted in different parts of the media. The sportspeople will give messages of tolerance and respect towards all cultures and also stress to the immigrants the importance of integrating into the community where they live, said Pastor.