Inflation in Spain grew by 3.3 percent this month, bringing it to its highest rate since October 2008 (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Figures to be released in two weeks are expected to show that the Índice de Precios de Consumo (IPC, or retail price index) went up by three-tenths compared to December 2010, as a result of price increases in electricity, food and non-alcoholic drinks. The data has been published by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE), using a new forecast indicator that has been employed for the first time by the organisation. According to European legislation, when calculating their coordinated inflation rates (índice de precios de consumo armonizado), countries now have to take into account seasonal variations in certain food types, such as fish, fruit and vegetable, and clothes and footwear. It is the result of this new method of calculating the coordinated rate that the INE has decided to publish a forecast rate for January; however, the official IPC for January won't be released until February 15th.
A lack of training amongst teachers is having negative effects on plans to create 'digital classrooms' (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Although laptops and work using digital resources have been introduced into Catalan schools, the move has highlighted the lack of competency amongst teachers for working with these media. Two reports carried out on the move by the Generalitat to bring digital teaching into local schools, baptised 'Educat 1x1' by the Education Ministry here, during the school year 2009-10 underlined the need to provide training for those teachers involved in the digital classrooms. It's not so much a question of problems with the hardware or IT resources, but rather with the educational possibilities that arise as a result of incorporating the new technologies. The reports also say that problems with internet connections and broadband have become a burden on the initiative, although solutions recently implemented in schools have helped with this.
A Barcelona judge has broken records by taking two years to pass sentence on a case she was dealing with (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The judge, María Elena Iturmendi, of the first penal court in Barcelona last week sentenced three managers working on the building of the new metro line 9 at Santa Coloma de Gramanet to minimum sentences for an incident in which a construction-worker died and another was seriously injured on January 19th, 2004—the court case took place on January 29th, 2009. The delay in passing sentence was reflected in the paperwork associated with the punishment, where the judge cited it as an extenuating circumstance that led her to reduce the men's sentences—as such, rather than the requests of two and three years of prison that the prosecutors had made, the guilty parties will only have to serve six months and pay a fine. The judge has been off work for some time, contributing to the slowness of the sentencing.