Basic General Education (Education General Básica—EGB) emerged from the enactment of the Education Law of 1970. It embraced what had previously been primary education and the first cycle of secondary school. It established free compulsory education until age 13, and its avowed intention was to provide a comprehensive, egalitarian education, which would develop the individual pupil's capacity for reflexion, observation and imagination. Successful completion of the eightyear programme led to the award of the Graduado Escolar (School Graduate) certificate, which qualified the pupil to proceed to secondary school and continue studies up to the level of BUP. Those who did not receive this qualification obtained a Certificado de Escolaridad (School Attendance Certificate), which allowed them to proceed to FP.
   EGB was originally divided into two phases, from 6 to 10 years, and from 11 to 13. In the 1970s, the syllabus was modified by the introduction of "ethical and civic education" as an alternative to religion, and English as an alternative to French. In their respective regions, Catalan, Basque and Galician were introduced. By the early 1980s, it became obvious that the rapid changes which the country had experienced necessitated further reforms, and in 1981 the UCD government replaced the two-stage curriculum with a three-stage one. The initial cycle included the first two years, the intermediate cycle years three to five, and the higher cycle years six to eight. In accordance with the articles on education in the constitution of 1978, minimum requirements for the initial cycle were laid down. The object was to guarantee a common cultural foundation to all Spanish children, though there was provision for this to be extended and diversified in the various autonomous communities.
   Pupils" progress was monitored by a combination of continuous assessment and examinations, and all subjects in a cycle had to be passed before proceeding to the next stage. In 1983 the PSOE government introduced remedial education to control the high failure rate, especially among the economically and geographically disadvantaged.
   Towards the end of 1990 new reforming legislation was introduced, the LOGSE, with the intention of restructuring the entire educational system. It began to be implemented in stages in 1991, and EGB was phased out by 1997.
   Further reading
   - Alted, A. (1995), "Educational Policy in Democratic Spain", in H.Graham and J.Labanyi (eds) Spanish Cultural Studies, an Introduction: The Struggle for Modernity, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 320–5 (an excellent overview of the changes in educational structure and policy since 1970).
   - Chislett, W. (1996), Spain 1996: The Central Hispano Handbook, Madrid: Central Hispano, pp. 32–5 (a brief but clear summary, illustrated with useful graphs).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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