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  • 22 de May de 2024
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  • 6 minutes read

Restar llevando (Subtracting with regrouping (borrowing)

Restar llevando (Subtracting with regrouping (borrowing)

Subtracting with regrouping (borrowing)

To paraphrase Antonio Machado’s Juan de Mairena, this book is written for Agamemnon and his swineherd: for parents, children, and for society at large

Dobleuve Publishers

License Creative Commons


Víctor Guiu Aguilar


After addressing contemporary issues such as depopulation (Lo rural ha muerto) and the rough-and-ready philosophy in La Globalimbecilización, where educational topics were touched upon in passing, the editors at Dobleuve Publishing, based in Teruel, a little city as often mentioned as it is unknown, decided that the numerous anecdotes about secondary school classes that left them with their hands up in disbelief deserved a new short, popular publication.

With a certain somarderia —translated into English as “sarcasm but with a bit malice”—I embarked on the project of sharing anecdotes collected from dozens of friends and colleagues, resulting in a book that aspires to please no one. This is intentional, as despite being written with irony and humour, the issues it tackles is serious business.

The erosion of knowledge and its value is no laughing matter, nor is the relegation of education and culture for disadvantaged classes to secondary (or even tertiary) importance. Society watches this drama unfold with indifference. Settled in a position detached from reality, we buy products sweetened for us by televisions and mass misinformation media. The so-called experts are in charge; do we obey without questioning?

The king is still naked, yet educational flat-earthers keep banging on about their dogmas and pseudo-sciences. They have got the upper hand and the politicians—many of whom studied ESO1—by the short and curlies.

Meanwhile, in a world where YouTubers and influencers of doubtful moral quality dictate what our children should think, families and educational leaders are more focused on finding someone to blame than on finding a solution. Credibility is hard to come by for something that should be at the core of contemporary discourse. We apply a quick fix to an education system that has been slipping through our fingers for decades.

A friend’s daughter, studying in the faculty of “sciences(?) of education(?)”, was astonished that most of her classmates were incapable of performing a basic subtraction involving borrowing. You already know the old waffle of “the important thing is knowing how to teach”, teaching nothingness, I would say. Hence the title of this book, which aims not to delve into the methodologies and legislation (there are better experts for that), but to be a starting point for us to understand what is happening. To paraphrase Antonio Machado‘s Juan de Mairena, this book is written for Agamemnon and his swineherd: for parents, children, and for society at large. What kind of social model are we heading towards if the foundation of our education system is falling apart? Is there any turning back? I have some answers I prefer to keep to myself, but it is imperative to take a stand and step forward, explaining to those around us what we continually observe in our work.

Thus, these common anecdotes serve as group therapy for teachers and, more importantly, provide first-hand insight into what lies behind the pass mark of the child at home who struggles to understand a text longer than two lines. When everyone has qualifications, the qualifications will be worthless, and only a residue of true knowledge will remain.

Many of us were victims of those indiscriminate and absurd reforms that undermined the fundamental principles of the faculties of Philosophy and Humanities, hyper-specialising us to know much less than the professors who taught us. So, anyone with a bit of critical sense knows what I am talking about.

There is an unhealthy insistence on vocational training over professionalism and knowledge. Experts and gurus run wild, indoctrinating dropouts from education. New methodologies, older than black thread, and useless nonsense fill thousands of textbooks. Bilingualism and tablets are hailed as the new paradigm. The fraud of the EVAU2 and evaluation, especially on those magical days of the Three Wise Men which evaluation boards have turned. The incompetence and frustration of so many of us burdened by a job that nobody values. The manifest laziness of many colleagues. The misguided reasoning of false progressivism turned into a consumer product.

Our country deserves better. Since we are hindered from teaching effectively, let us at least tell a large part of the truth.


1 Compulsory Secondary Education

2 University Access Assessment

Title: Restar llevando (a poorly-written treatise on education?);

Author: Guiu Aguilar, Víctor

Publisher: Dobleuve; Teruel, 2024.

Language: Spanish

Source: educational EVIDENCE

Rights: Creative Commons

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