Gaelic Medium Education Makes Gains in the Scottish Highlands

In July of last year Transceltic reported that the Bòrd na Gàidhlig, an organisation formed under Scotland’s the 2005 Language Act, had issued its Annual Report for 2013/2014.  The report showed dramatic growth in Gaelic medium education showing a 6% increase in primary school and a 7% increase in secondary school enrollment.  The Bord’s report attributed the reversal in the decline of Gaelic speakers, as reported in the 2011 census, to the increases in Gaelic medium education. 

The latest sign of the growth cited in the Bord’s report is a new center of Gaelic Medium education opening in the Highlands district of Lochaber in Caol, Fort William.  Local press reports stated that the local council plans to make the new facility, scheduled to open in August 2016, a hub for the Gaelic language in the area. 

Councillor Hamish Fraser, the Chairman of a local group supporting the expansion of Gaelic Medium education stated: “The development of the Gaelic language and culture will be greatly enhanced in the area by this new Gaelic Primary School. The benefits of bilingual education have been widely acknowledged and this kind of education will also help to develop and sustain the Gaelic language among young people.”

 " There is a Gaelic revival under way. Increasing numbers of parents – even those who don’t speak the language – are opting to send their children to Gaelic-medium schools, where all subjects are taught in the language. In 1985 there were only 24 primary school children being taught in Gaelic; last year the figure was 2,953.  Sixty-one schools across Scotland now offer Gaelic-medium education. The expectation is that, as time passes, these young Gaels will revitalise a language that is intricately tied up with their country’s identity. "  Cal Fyn in The New Statesman - 2014

Map of Scotland showing the location of the Lochaber District - Compliments of Wikipedia:

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