There is a plan to build a neighbourhood school on the following basis: the Basquising of children and the inclusion of all the inhabitants living in the neighbourhood.
Vitoria-Gasteiz is a capital city located in a non-Basque-speaking area. Basque has a very limited presence in the street. Nevertheless, since the 1980s, most of the parents who are non-Basque-speaking at home have been opting for the education model (D model) that offers their children total immersion in Basque. Since 2002 the number of immigrants has increased steadily and has risen to nearly 10%.
Unlike the autochthonous population, the immigrants choose the public schools for their children and, above all, the semi-immersion model in Basque (B model) or the model in which Spanish is the medium of instruction (A model). There are complex reasons behind this choice and responsibility is in the hands of many players. So the Basquisation of immigrants and the coexistence of all citizens are not being promoted because some of the public schools are turning into ghettoes.
Ramon Bajo is a public school located in the Old Quarter of Vitoria-Gasteiz where the A model has been taught for many years. Further to what we have explained above, from 2002 onwards, in particular, only the children of immigrants were enrolled at this school and the parents born locally and living in the neighbourhood (whose first language was either Basque or Spanish) sent their children to the schools in the nearby neighbourhoods offering the D model. In 2006 some Basque-speaking parents in the neighbourhood worked to get this school to change to the D model, but the relationship with the teachers and parents of immigrant origin was decisive in this Basquisation process. Today, the D model is taught at this neighbourhood school and the school has stopped being a ghetto.
Even though we have precedents in our history, the promoting of Basque in a multicultural situation presents us with a new, major challenge. The involvement of the local parents is decisive to ensure that Basque is present in the centre, but bearing in mind at all times the culture and languages brought by others.