Dyfodol i’r Iaith is calling for significant investment in a language training programme for teachers.
The call comes following the announcement of education Minister Kirsty Williams that Welsh second language will no longer be offered.
Heini Gruffudd, Chairman of Dyfodol i’r Iaith, says: “We welcome the Minister’s announcement, but there must be an intense program of language training for thousands of teachers.”
“Currently, Welsh-medium schools that teach subjects through the medium of Welsh are the only model that successfully gives equal language skills in Welsh and English to every pupil.”
“Teaching Welsh as a subject is not enough – other subjects must be taught through the medium of Welsh. Wales’ schools will not be able to do this without a large increase in the number of teachers of Welsh with a qualification in the language, and a significant increase in the number of subject teachers who can teach through the medium of the language. ”
“We have to follow the Basque Country pattern, where a huge investment was made in ensuring that teachers have sufficient linguistic skills. Without doing this, there is a danger that the Minister’s hopes will be vain hopes. ”
“We are therefore calling on the Government to introduce an extensive programme of language training for thousands of teachers.”
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has called for the Welsh Government to take specific steps to encourage Wales’ pupils to study in Welsh Universities, rather than encouraging them to study in England.
Following the publishing of figures that suggest that fewer students now study through the medium of Welsh, Dyfodol i’r Iaith wants to see the Government giving financial support only to students studying in Wales, if the University courses are available in the country.
Dyfodol i’r Iaith also wants to see the Seren Network, which targets talented pupils in Wales, concentrating on encouraging students to study in Wales.
Heini Gruffudd, Chair of Dyfodol i’r Iaith, said, “The Government has an ambitious target for increasing the number of Welsh speakers, but some of its policies are dismantling this target. We have been throwing money at universities in England by sending our students there, and that means that none of these students will study through the medium of Welsh.
Mr Gruffudd added, “Recently the Seren Network has been targeted talented pupils in an attempt to get them to study in the Russell Group of Universities, of which only Cardiff is in Wales. This is an insult to other Welsh Universities, and the Policy will lead to a decrease in the number of students studying through the medium of Welsh.”
“Wales, as far as I know, is the only country in the world which wants to see most of its students study in another country for their first degree.”
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has written to Isle of Anglesey County Council to congratulate the Council on it’s decision to adopt the Welsh language as it’s language of administration. Encouraging Welsh speaking workforces has been one of the the policy priorities for Dyfodol i’r Iaith.
Heini Gruffudd, Chair of Dyfodol i’r Iaith, said: “Adopting the Welsh language as the natural language of the workplace is an essential step in ensuring a prosperous future for the language. We are praising the County for this progressive action .
“With Gwynedd having already adopted this policy, we look forward to seeing Welsh becoming the main language of administration for the counties of the west, from Anglesey to Carmarthen. This will transform the prospects of the Welsh language in these counties.”
“We are confident that the Government will be willing to invest extensively in the language training demands that will underpin the success of this change.”