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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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Combining my blogs

This blog is now dormant. It records our time in the beautiful city of Ciudad Rodrigo but it's a while since we've lived there. We now spend part of our time in Cartagena, Murcia and a part in Culebrón, Alicante.

If you would like to gave a look at what we're up to now just click on one of the tabs at the top of the page.

That's it

Done. Finished. I'm just about to disconnect the computer and that will be it. We managed to get everything in the cars, tomorrow morning we'll dope up Edu and then all we have to do is to drive across Spain. The Culebrón link below will be in use for the next few weeks before we move on to Cartagena in September. Click on the links below.
So this blog is dead. Ciudad Rodrigo is history. Culebrón for the summer and then Cartagena.
The story continues .......

Missed something else

This morning, as I cleaned my teeth, I heard hooves in the street. I didn't bother to rush out. I took my time, I put on my boots and strolled out to buy fags and a paper. There were signs of horses or mules or donkeys having passed down the street. When I came out of the fag shop I noticed a fair sized crowd by the Fat Tree but the fun was over, the crowd was drifting away and I didn't have my camera anyway.
I've just checked the town web site and it says that The Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Peña de Francia, having been blessed by a local chaplain, set out on a Romeria (a sort of pilgrimage) from the town today heading for one of the highest peaks in the area - the Peña de Francia. They won't get there till Sunday as it's some 50km from here.