Saturday, 14 February 2015

Plaid at last plan to take Welsh in schools further.

Plaid have made  a bold initiative especially Schools in Wales should teach three to seven year olds mainly through the medium of Welsh within 20 years, just before GE2015.
Bold because you can immediately see cries of "raming Welsh down out throats and WebBrits ( The opposite of CyberNats) rushing to thier laptops.
.
According  to Half of English-medium schools should be doing it within 10 years but Welsh-speaking areas would be the priority for its new Foundation Phase  policy.
Education spokesman Simon Thomas said bilingualism was "a valuable skill".
The National Union of Teachers said there was "merit" in the plan but asked if sufficient teachers could be found.
'Basic right'
Plaid Cymru was launching its language strategies ahead of May's general election at an event in Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire, on Friday.
"Accessing services and operating in the workplace in their language of choice is a basic right for all the people of Wales," said Mr Thomas.
"Nowhere is this right more important than in our schools and playgrounds where the foundations of children's confidence to converse in Welsh is formed.
"We know that bilingualism is a valuable skill and benefits children's cognitive development."
Owen Hathway, Wales policy officer for the National Union of Teachers, said there was "merit" in the plan but added that "finding enough teachers capable, and wishing, to teach through the medium of Welsh can be difficult".
Which is a fair point but not something that could be overcome , But it would have to start in Teacher Training with Teachers having to have to speak Welsh to qualify in the same way that they currently have to speak English.
There could be a move to send current teachers on a say six month extensive Welsh Language course with the promise of a rise in their pay grade on passing
Rex Phillips, national official in Wales for the NASUWT,was more dismissive asked whether Plaid Cymru had considered "parental choice and the views of pupils, teachers and the wider education workforce before making this announcement".
Well they can of course express their views via the Ballot box.
But it about time that Plaid started to come up with positive policies on the Language. It  has seemed   they have  worried about a negative reaction from monoglot English speakers.
There is no evidence  that in  areas like Gwynedd where such a plan is largely the norm that children suffer from such and education the reverse is actually the case .

As i started this a bold move but it is the right one it will be hard to implement and some would say Plaid ere shooting for the Moon.
But as J.F, Kennedy put it 
But why , the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…
We need desperate measures to save our language and Plaid have made a step. Will other parties follow? 



5 comments:

  1. "Accessing services and operating in the workplace in their language of choice is a basic right for all the people of Wales," said Mr Thomas.

    So pupils and teachers speaking English in schools is a basic right. The bilingual advantage looks a little shaky too judging from Prof Gathercole's work with Welsh pupils.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Where in this are English or indeed Welsh speaking pupils dedenied the right to speak English?

    ReplyDelete
  3. If English first language pupils are COMPELLED to learn through Welsh then they are having their basic right to an English medium education removed.

    The rights of people who absolutely DON'T want to speak Welsh or learn through that medium have to be protected by law.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Welsh speakers who unfortunately I am not one are COMPELLED to speak English every day. But why should anyone not want to be fluent in both languages and such an education would make this possible.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What we are talking about is compulsion in education. For decades parents fought for the right to have their children taught through the medium of Welsh when that was their home language. If you remember the argument went that pupils who heard only Welsh at home should not be compelled to go to schools where they were taught in a language that was foreign to them, English.
    Now Plaid is determined that 92% of children in Wales should go to school and be taught in a language that is foreign to them.
    Remember, Welsh speaking parents do not put their children in immersion English schools if they can help it...why should English speaking parents be forced to put their children in immersion Welsh classes?
    Whether, in your opinion, parents should choose to have their child fluent in Welsh and English is irrelevant. They should have that choice.
    It is part of the hypocrisy of Plaid that everything that they said for years was wrong about all English medium schooling is now put forward as a really good idea for all Welsh medium schooling.

    ReplyDelete