|José Ignacio Wert|
SPAIN (Agencies) The new Minister for Education, Culture and Sport, José Ignacio Wert, yesterday announced that he is seeking agreement from all parties -not just political but on a 'national' basis- on a profound change in Education. The consensus he is looking for is aimed at "looking forward, not backwards," in his words. Wert wants to diagnose the failures of the Spanish education system because at present there is a "culture of mediocrity, of punishment for excellence that is punishing the entire future of the country." He points out that early school leaving levels are the worst in Europe, while those of excellence are the lowest. The Minister says that "the culture of effort" has been lost and there is but a "lax attitude toward results," a situation he believes must change radically and that the Government must lead the way and he warned that changes to the system take a long time to produce results, which is why it is "extremely urgent" to get to work now.