Ruth Richards, Chief Executive of Dyfodol i’r Iaith said:
“As an organisation, we are concerned about comments made in the Senedd on 28 January by Eluned Morgan, The Welsh Language and International Relations Minister..
“Eluned Morgan seem to question the value of learning the Welsh language within the community. We need to celebrate that 12,680 learners are doing just that all over Wales under the guidance of professional tutors.
“We need to strengthen the provision of learning the language within the community, and it would be good to see the Government following the example of the Basque Country and investing in this this key area.
“In the long-term, spending on the teaching of Welsh in the community and the workplace need to increase threefold, but for the time being, we would press the Government to protect and increase the spending in real terms.”
Eluned Morgan said in the Senedd, 28 January 2020:
“I wanted to look closely at teaching Welsh to adults – they receive £13 million and they teach about 12,000 people. I just want to look at this, and it takes up a lot of the budget; I want to ensure that this money is spent correctly.”
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has expressed its disappointment that the Government has rejected one of the recommendations of the the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committe regarding the teaching of Welsh history within the new curriculum.
On behalf of Dyfodol, Wyn Thomas said:
“Dyfodol i’r Iaith regrets the Government’s decision to reject the Committee’s recommendation that all pupils who study history in Wales receive consistent, standard information. A cost-free opportunity to emphasise the importance of the Welsh language to the nation’s history has been lost
“Ensuring an awareness of the language’s importance would, of course, have been a valuable contribution to Government’s aim of ensuring a million Welsh speakers by 2050.”
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has reacted angrily to the latest budget announcement. It became apparent that the Welsh language will receive no further funding during 2020-21 as indicated in the Welsh Language Minister’s paper. Dyfodol i’r Iaith suggests that this falls far short of the funding levels necessary to reach the Government’s own target of a million Welsh speakers.
Heini Gruffudd, the organisation’s Chair said:
‘Although the Minister’s paper deals with many of the essential action points, the absence of extra funding means that the situation will remain static or deteriorate. The language targets call for careful planning and long-tern investment, but instead of that, it seems that the language remains a peripheral concern which has again been neglected.
The Government will shortly appoint a language expert to lead its language planning programme and we call upon whoever is appointed to undertake an urgent needs assessment, noting the level of funding that will be necessary.
We believe that priority must be given to teaching Welsh in the workplace – particularly in the fields of childcare, education and local government. Then we must have an ambitious programme of community projects to facilitate Welsh-speakers to use their language within their various communities.
We are also concerned that there is no capital funding available for the Welsh language, and priority also needs to be given to the support of Welsh Language Centres, and this will not be possible without capital aid.’
This year, the organisation will be pressing for adequate funding to support a comprehensive programme aimed at planning the regeneration of the language and will be working with the Government to ensure this.