Éire Ghaelach – Éire Shaor
Scottish and Irish minsters have attended an event at Glasgow’s Scottish medium school, Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu, where it was announed that new funding is to be made available for the popular institute. Several hundred students attend the school at nursery, primary and secondary levels in a continuous education stream and all through the medium of the Scottish language (Scots Gaelic). In recent years demand has outstripped available student places leading to calls for new schools to be established around the city. A similar situation exists in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, though parents and pupils there face far greater Anglophone hostility.
From an Scottish TV report:
“Pupils at Glasgow’s Gaelic School are celebrating after a £200,000 government grant to expand teaching and sporting facilities was unveiled.
Four mothballed classrooms in the Woodside Campus of the Berkeley Street building, which currently hosts 600 children, will be developed to cope with new pupils learning the language. A new 4G football pitch is already being used by the school.
The announcement was made by the Minister for Gaelic Alasdair Allan on a trip to the school with Dinny McGinley, Irish Minister for State for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Both ministers were welcomed into the building by a piper before they were given a tour of the new areas.
Dr Allan, MSP for the Western Isles, told STV: ““The bigger picture is this is a school which is growing rapidly. We have had to take over new classrooms. There is a real demand for Gaelic medium education in Glasgow and everyone in the Government is proud to be associated with that.
“I think what it proves is parents are interested in their children being educated in Gaelic. The results this school gets in all subjects indicate that it is a real success story and one that is clearly going to grow.
“There is interest in growing Gaelic education in the future in Glasgow. Discussions about the possibility of another primary school at council level are ongoing, and certainly if that happens – as I hope it will – we would like to see further growth in the secondary sector as well.”
Dinny McGinley TD said: “I am very impressed with this excellent facility that is being used here for the first time here today. I think great credit should be given to the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and the local community who are supporting the establishment of this facility.
“It is great to see all the young children, from infants up to secondary speaking in fluent Gaelic. We have similar schools in Ireland outside the Gaelic speaking areas and I think that you have the Gaelic language, spoken here in the city of Glasgow and it augers well for the language and its future.”
Currently, children can be taught the language in Glasgow at Lyoncross Nursery as well as the Gaelic school. As Dr Allan MSP highlighted, a special unit of Glendale Primary in the city’s south side is currently being considered.”