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Campaign group launches vision for universal Welsh-medium education

18 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s report was published today.

A campaign group has published a report that demonstrates a path to universal Welsh language education by 2050.

In a briefing session in Cardiff today (18 April), Cymdeithas yr Iaith put its statistical work, ‘Welsh Education for All: Reaching the Objective’ before the Senedd.

The report analyses the progress required in each county every five years in order to reach the goal.

It also analyses the progress necessary to reach the Welsh Government’s goal of 50% of children in Welsh-medium education by the same year.

It comes as part of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s ongoing campaign for Welsh language education for all, and securing a commitment for that in the Government’s Welsh Education Bill, which will soon be introduced to the Senedd.

The Bill is described by the organisation as a “once in a generation opportunity” to “transform” the education system.

Right

Speaking before the launch, Mabli Siriol, a member of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s Education Group, said: “The problem with the proposals in the White Paper for the Government’s Welsh Language Education Bill is that half of children in Wales will still lose out on Welsh-medium education.

“We believe that every child – wherever they come from, whoever their parents are, whatever their social background – should have that right to the Welsh language. This Bill offers a once in a generation opportunity to transform our education system.

“Today we are publishing statistical, thorough, work of a high standard, which shows – yes it is ambitious, it is a challenge, with the education system we have at the moment – but, it’s achievable. What is needed now is the ambition, the political will, and the funding from the Government to ensure that it happens.”

In 2021, Cymdeithas yr Iaith published its own Welsh Language Education Act, which sets universal Welsh-medium education as a goal in statute.

In 2022, the movement published a strategy for developing the required workforce, calling for significant investment and a plan with targets for increasing the number of the workforce who can work through the medium of Welsh.

Heledd Fychan, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for South Wales Central, who sponsored the event, said: “A quarter of a century after the opening of this Senedd, it is a disgrace that the majority of children and young people in Wales continue to be deprived of the opportunity to speak and use the Welsh language.

“The Minister with responsibility for the Welsh language consistently states that the Welsh language belongs to everyone in Wales, but he is reluctant to take the radical steps needed if we are serious about securing a secure future for our language

“It is not empty words that are needed but action and investment in the workforce, as this report states. This is the only way to ensure equal opportunities for our children and young people to become confident Welsh speakers, wherever they live in Wales.”


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Ieu
Ieu
24 days ago

Do it council-by-council. No point Ynys Môn being held back because of arguments in Monmouthshire (er enghraifft)

Richard E
Richard E
23 days ago

The past practice of allowing local authorities to go at their own pace reflecting local need and parental expectations did work for many years – but sadly not anymore. During my own time on the WJEC, PDAG and Bwrdd Iaith we were able to encourage good progress in many areas across Wales – but in many areas this has now come to a stop or even in two areas reversed ! The right to access good, local bilingual provision with funded transport is a birth right for ALL. “ O Môn i Mynwy “ This must be matched with teachers… Read more »

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