Current Affairs Politics The Irish Language - An Ghaeilge

The Right To Talk – The Right To Teach

Place names in Gaelic are becoming increasingl...

Talking of indigenous languages and education, while in Ireland our political parties make the right noises while purposely doing none of the right things, in Scotland they have their priorities straight.

Following on from the long campaign to get a dedicated school in Edinburgh teaching through the medium of the Scottish language, the capital’s city council has finally voted in favour of the project. The Scotsman reports that:

“THE city’s first Gaelic school has finally been given the go-ahead following a series of delays linked to the rising cost of the project.

Councillors agreed the £3.5 million redevelopment of the former Bonnington Primary School in Leith, which will house the Capital’s first all-Gaelic primary from 2013.

Pupils will be moved from the current Gaelic Medium Education (GME) unit based in Tollcross Primary to the new facility, and the unit will be closed.

Following months of discussions with the Scottish Government – which backs the dedicated school – it has agreed to contribute £1.8m.

Following the decision, Councillor Marilyne MacLaren, the city’s education leader, said: “The Gaelic community felt it was important for this to happen and the increases over the years in parents wanting their children to go to Tollcross mean we have a pressure to address.”

The move to create the city’s first Gaelic school was passed without debate after all political groups agreed on the proposals from council officials.

Alasdair Cameron, of parent group Comann nam Parant, said: “It is interesting when people understand the quality of education at Tollcross and the number of nationalities represented at one school.

“People of all walks of life and nationalities get a first-class education, and a bilingual education, and we should be proud of that.”

Arthur Cormack, chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said that the council should now make the primary a success before assessing how to provide for Gaelic education at secondary school level.

Education chiefs first started looking at the future of Gaelic provision in Edinburgh after it emerged there had been a large increase in the number of pupils learning the language in recent years.”

Well done to all involved for recognising the rights of native speakers to an education in their own language, and for facing down the opposition of the Anglophone extreme. If only Ireland could match the new-found enthusiasm of the Scottish political classes for their national language and culture (but then our Anglophone elites have their own ready-made allies to rely on).

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