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Homologised, homologated?

Things in Spain, jobs of every sort, tend to take a little longer than you expect. Queues are a bit disorderly and tend to be slow moving. It's not always true of course and we have been surprised, from time to time, by short and simple procedures but, in general, slow, ponderous, beraucratic and excessive would be appropriate adjectives.

Anyway Maggie is employed by the Regional Government to work in a State School. Unfortunately, because she has lowly English qualifications she is employed on a lower grade than befits her experience and education.

The system here is that in order to be a Funcionario, that's what people are called who work in Government type jobs, you have to pass a competitive exam called Oposiciones. Once you've passed the exams and found a post you're set for life - guaranteed employment, good pensions, short working days etc. But the fact is that to get anywhere in Spain, jobwise, qualifications are a must. For quite ordinary and even for  menial jobs it's qualifications that count. It must be very difficult to change careers as a paid employee.

So Maggie decided she'd have a crack at the Oposiciones. Before she can do the teaching exams she needs to have a degree and so she needs to get her degree, and her teaching qualifications, recognised. In order to do that the UK University has to provide a list of the "subjects" that her degree contained. That list has to be translated (by a State recognised translator) and then presented, along with a whole bunch of other paperwork to the appropriate authority in Madrid. They will then tell her whether the degree has equivalence. The whole process is called homolgation, homolgación, and Maggie has been having some difficulty getting her tongue around the word.

The Government department says it will take about 6 months to do the paperwork from the time that they receive it. The likelihood is that they will say that she is some subjects short and so she would then have to study those subjects here and get the appropriate Spanish qualifications. Then she re-submits. At that point she can start studying for the Oposiciones - oh, no, she can't - first she has to pass a competence test in Spanish even though the exams can, apparently, be done in English.

Maggie had worked most of this out from various websites and with talking to colleagues but she went to see her Union Rep. yesterday, in Salamanca, just to check and, because of what he said we also went to the University to see if they might be able to help. All a bit dead endish.

There were riots in Barcelona a few weeks back, with the Catalan Police Force going in heavy with big sticks, by students complaining about the upcoming Bolonia (Bologna) agreement. That's the one that will mean that qualifications are valid in each and every EU State. I'm not absolutely sure what the complaint is, seems like a good idea to me. Maybe they want to continue passing exams by rote learning which is still a keystone of a great deal of the education system here. 

I suggested to Maggie that she simply waits till the Bolonia stuff is in force and then does a fast UK qualification. It will, almost certainly, be faster than waiting in the Spanish queue!


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