Welsh Medium Educated Is Boosted While Irish Medium Education Is Blocked

The percentage of children educated through the medium of the Irish language in primary schools across Ireland, excluding the Six Counties, currently stands at less than 9%. In contrast Wales, a politically-disenfranchised region of the United Kingdom, is educating 22% of its primary-age pupils through the Welsh language, with the devolved government in Cardiff actively working to increase that figure to 30% within thirteen years. Indeed, the overall objective is to have nearly a third of all schoolchildren immersed in Welsh education by 2030, a cross-party strategy almost unimaginable in an Irish context.

From the BBC:

Plans to increase Welsh medium education have been set out as part of a target to get one million people speaking Welsh by 2050.

A strategy to double the number of Welsh speakers in the next 30 years has been published by the Welsh Government.

To hit this target, a plan to increase Welsh medium education by a third over the next 14 years has been announced.

The Conservatives said ministers would need to persuade people and communities of the benefits of bilingualism.

Currently 22% of seven-year-olds are being taught in Welsh-medium schools but ministers want it to rise to 30% at every level by 2030.

This is the difference between linguistic restoration as a matter of state policy on one hand and mere lip service and tokenism as a means of assuaging post-colonial neuroses on the other.

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4 comments

  1. why the reluctance to open gaelscoileanna. up to 25% of parents would send their children to one if it were possible, yet only 5% of schools are gaelscoileanna. many of those are hugely oversubscribed yet of the four new schools to be opened this september only one will be a bunscoil. so just to reiterate
    75% of parents want an english medium school and have a choice of 95% of the schools
    25% of parents would choose a gaelscoil but have to make do with 5% of the available schools
    How is that equitable.
    also, there are numerous advantages to having more irish medium schools, for example: http://www.gaelscoileanna.ie/news/media/english-12-surprising-benefits-of-learning-a-second-language/

    Plus, there is the inherent value to protecting an endangered language, at no additional cost.

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