Dyfodol i’r Iaith has expressed its dismay at the Welsh Government’s Welsh Language Action Plan for the period 2021-22. Since the Government’s stated aim is to ensure a million Welsh speakers and increase its usage, the organisation believes that this document is totally inadequate: far too short on the essential requirements of vision, detail and finance. In the words of Dyfodol’s Chair, Heini Gruffudd:
“This is an Action Plan that shirks its responsibilities and reveals a woeful lack of ambition. The intention to “continue” working is stated repeatedly, with little explanation of how this will produce key outcomes such as transmitting the language within the home environment or increasing the use of Welsh within the community and the workplace.
In the same way, the response to the needs of Welsh-medium education is disappointing: the new Welsh in Education Strategic Plans have been postponed for another year and there is a failure to recognize the post-Covid opportunity to develop the education sector and recruit and train more Welsh-medium teachers.
The situation of the Welsh language needs more commitment than this: more strategic vison and positive actions. Indeed, it could be argued that this feeble document is an insult to all who support the language.”
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has welcomed the Government’s announcement of an extra£30m for the development of Welsh language education. The organisation’s Chair, Heini Gruffudd said:
“We are very pleased that the Government acknowledges the need to invest in Welsh language education and that this is essential contribution to the aim of creating a million Welsh speakers by 2050.”
He added however that such an investment would not be acceptable as a one-off payment and that financial support has to reflect a long-term committment to the development of Welsh language education:
“We would emphasise however that this committment is necessary on a regular annual basis if it is to make a real difference and support local authorities to plan robust provision in accordance with the timetable of their Welsh in Education Strategic Plans.
In the context of the Welsh 2050 Project, and its implications for education, the Government must accept that it has no other choice than to work strategically and support each essential step with regular and appropriate funding.”
Dyfodol has written to the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism calling for adequate funding for the National Library of Wales. Here are our arguments:
We oppose any further cuts which will threaten the future of an establishment essential to the history, culture and indeed the identity of the nation.
At a time when history, culture and their interpretation are so important and when sincere and necessary efforts are made to highlight marginalised cultures and viewpoints, we believe that the concept of a National Library which safeguards all of Wales’s cultures becomes ever more important in terms of defining our identity and our place in the world.
As an organisation which lobbies for the good of the Welsh language, our priorities are based upon the history, literature and objects that relate to the language; this is what we wish to see protected and interpreted for future generations. We also recognise that any threat to the Library is also a threat not only to the history of our language but to all the cultures of Wales.
More and not less staff and resources are needed if the Library is to function inclusively. We also note and regret the loss of jobs within an organisation which always used to place an emphasis on Welsh as the language of the workplace.
We cannot see any justification for this harm and would be pleased to receive your comments on this disturbing situation.