Extra funding for Gaelic and more opportunities for learners have been announced by Minister for Scotland’s Languages Alasdair Allan today (Friday) ahead for the Royal National Mod getting underway in Paisley.
The investment will go to:
£41,000 to Bòrd na Gàidhlig. £21,000 will produce more multi-media packs to help parents of Gaelic Medium Education (GME) pupils use the language at home and give them practical support and resources to draw from. £20,000 will expand the Bòrd’s successful campaign to recruit GME teachers
£30,000 will be used to train GME teachers through the Gaelic Learning in Primary Schools (GLPS) method
£20,000 to Fèisean nan Gàidheal for their work with schools on drama workshops to incorporate Gaelic lessons
£10,000 to An Comunn Gàidhealach to fund a Music Tuition Coordinator to work with the Choirs Association to develop a programme of Junior Gaelic Choirs
Dr Allan said: “The Royal National Mòd is a time of celebration and reward for the many groups and individuals who have worked tirelessly to maintain Gaelic’s pivotal role in our heritage.
“This year we have proof that it is making a difference with the 2011 census showing the drop in the number of Gaelic speakers has gone from more than 16,000 between 1991 and 2001 to less than 900 in the last ten years. Not only is that a significant achievement, but the figures also showed that every category for speakers under 20 went up.
“Recent research also shows that the vast majority of non-Gaelic speakers feel the language is an important part of our heritage which is a tribute to the work of many of those taking part in the Mod and the regional competitions throughout the year.
“The growth in demand for Gaelic Medium Education across Scotland shows that the projects to benefit from today’s funding announcement are encouraging a new generation of speakers and reaffirming the place of indigenous languages in communities across Scotland.”
Dr Allan also announced that the Gaelic Ambassador of the Year would be Vice Principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, John Norman Macleod, who continues to make a significant contribution to Gaelic learning.
John Macleod, President of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “In his special anniversary year for Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, An Comunn Gàidhealach is delighted to recognise the achievements of SMO and in particular the significant contribution that John Norman has made to adult Gaelic learning over the past 30 years. It is good to recognise the valuable work of people who quietly and effectively teach others to develop their Gaelic abilities, and John Norman sincerely deserves special recognition for his services to our language.”