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Welsh education policy is serving nationalism - not our children

Discussion in 'Cymru - education news' started by Gogwatch, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. This is a small but disturbing extract from a long article written by a parent, just published on Gogwatch, writing about how her child is being treated in school for not speaking Welsh and what is happening to English language Welsh schools in Wales.
    Bear in mind that 80% of Welsh people speak only English so this parent's account is truly shocking of what is going on in Education in Wales:
    • In a local enterprise group AGM, when ideas were invited to encourage
      business ventures from outside Wales, a man proposing an English-medium
      school for incoming children was heckled and hissed out of the meeting…
    • My child was ignored by teachers when she asked questions in English in a supposedly bi-lingual school…
    • Children in local schools are rewarded with tokens or hot chocolate for
      speaking Welsh in the playground, while those speaking English are
      chastised or, in some cases, given detention…
    • Parents were denied an English copy of an annual school governors
      report, even though such a refusal contravenes statutory guidelines…
    • Four local school teachers have been made redundant for no valid reason
      apparently other than that they are not fluent Welsh speakers…
    • In a junior school show performed in Welsh, the only English spoken was
      by a character portrayed as a buffoon, laughed at by his mates until he
      finally managed to speak “yn Gymraeg”…
    'At my local junior school, many parents have been persistently
    browbeaten into transferring their children from the Bi-lingual
    (primarily English) to the Welsh-medium streams, as the school uses
    scare tactics to engineer a “lack of demand”: the Bi-lingual stream is
    the reserve of “dunces”, “underachievers”, or those with “behavioural
    problems”; children opting to remain in the Bi-lingual stream would
    apparently be socially ostracised, or deprived of better educational
    'Children seeking secondary education through the medium of English,
    however, are now obliged to travel out of county to a school 11 miles
    away. Not only do they have to travel on a bus without seatbelts, but
    the LEA will not pay the bus fares. Children attending a Welsh medium
    school 17 miles away, however, have a free, secure school bus provided
    by the LEA.'
    'There seems to be an agenda to make “English” a dirty word, both in the
    classroom and the playground. I could (unhappily) quote many more
    examples, but far more important is the way in which this discrimination
    has been insidiously incorporated into local education policy:'

    The full account of her child's education can be read at the below link. It will alarm every teacher:
    Welsh education policy is serving nationalism - not our children

  2. I would like to raise the issue of teachers teaching in areas where schools are increasingly Welsh medium or only employing teachers who speak Welsh. This is automatically eliminating well qualified and good teachers who are English first language but who can teach, and are willing to teach, second language Welsh. Why train teachers in Welsh Universities through the medium of English if, eventually, they are not going to be able to teach in a school in Wales? Wales is going to lose out as it is missing out on skills these teacher have to offer. Teachers want to support Welsh culture, history and language but are beginning to feel alienated and 'not good enough' if they cannot speak Welsh.
  3. Myob,

    I found parts of this post hard to follow. Schools that only employ teachers who speak Welsh cannot 'eliminate' those who can teach Second language, as you have to be able to speak Welsh to teach it surely?

  4. I personally think that article is ridiculous. It is making it seem as though the exaggerated events it describes are the norm. In my experience, this is certainly NOT "what is going on in Education in Wales", and it strikes me as anti-Welsh nonsense to be honest. As someone who attended a Welsh-medium primary and secondary school, I experiences nothing of what is described here. As a native ENGLISH speaker, I began school with little knowledge of Welsh. The teachers would speak in Welsh of course, but then repeat the sentence in English. Everyone was fluent within the first few years. I was never chastised for using English words when the Welsh ones escaped me. The school encouraged Welsh speaking "to the best of your ability", and the staff understood that not everyone will be as confident in the language. In secondary school, certainly, pupils would be reprimanded for insistent use of English instead of Welsh, and why shouldn't they be Everyone was fluent in it and it was a Welsh school. They weren't speaking Welsh to the best of their ability, so it's breaking a perfectly reasonable school rule. There is, however, a degree of acceptance of some people speaking English, and no-one would EVER be given a detention because their Welsh wasnt good enough to avoid ENglish.
    In some ways I agree with Gogwatch's ideals, but ridiculous, biased articles, tinged with 'anti-Cymraeg-ness' like that one do nothing to persuade me.

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