If you are a parent of a child from an English speaking home, and you want the best possible English medium education for your child in their crucially important primary years; you will be hard pushed to find a primary school within Conwy LEA that can be defined as a good school and the few that are left are oversubscribed and under increasing pressure to lose the remaining teachers who can’t deliver Welsh Language Curriculum and within a County that is predominantly English speaking.
Conwy Borough Council and its LEA have been planning your child’s future for many years and have used deceit, fraud and stealth to impose terms that suits their vision of the Borough’s future. This future is based on Welsh nationalist terms where only those being able to use the Welsh language with significant fluency will be considered suitable for public employment including education.
There are some exceptionally strong words in this statement that some people who may not be familiar with the legal provisions applicable to Local Authorities in the discharge of their duties as a public service may consider this article to be unfair and perhaps unbalanced.
Not so, as those very words have been used in direct correspondence with the Conwy Borough Council’s Legal Team on the matters concerning the Borough’s primary education policies and all we have from them were some muted apologies for getting legislative provisions wrong and a large amount of irrelevant nonsense with the intention to deflect from the real issues at hand.
Conwy’s legal team was reminded in writing that they as public employees must uphold the unspoken ethos of the legal profession and act with honesty and transparency for the public good rather than to protect those involved in deceit and illegal practices within their LEA, and other departments that have been actively involved in marginalising the English speaking majority.
Conwy Council is making its English speaking community into second class citizens and for good measure taking away the rights of their children to have a good primary education.
The principal aim of Glasnost for now is to raise national awareness about the flawed concept of ‘bilingual nation’ that is doing immeasurable harm to Welsh society and the principal cause for the appalling standards of Welsh education in English language literacy and numeracy – Recent Conwy events are prime example of the worst excesses of public service arrogance and illegal practices.
Wales needs freedom of choice and this freedom must be extended to all parents to be able to choose Welsh or English medium education for their children, and free of state dogma and compulsion. The mixing of the two into the so-called English Medium with significant Welsh category is a disaster in the making and this will be dealt in some depth within the Part II of this series of Glasnost articles.
The psychological, academic and social damage of this process on children seems to be irrelevant and a topic that the Welsh Government and many Welsh LEAs do not want to discuss and they are taking extraordinary measures to conceal the truth of the failure from the Welsh public.
The equality in Law of the two languages and people being free to live their lives in Wales through either English or Welsh language is nonsense when an alarming high percentage of public jobs are going to Welsh speakers.
The principal of bilingual education is being used as a tool to deceive and placate parents into thinking that their children will get jobs in a ‘bilingual Wales’. The happiness and well being of the children is being treated with contempt as they progress through this new form of educational order, where the promotion of the Welsh language comes before high standards of education.
For any sceptics reading this article consider the following extract on page 19 from Welsh Government’s document titled “Promoting linguistic progression between Key Stages 2 and 3” (Issued on behalf of Leighton Andrews as the Minister responsible for education in February 2012):
“During the project, a number of fun activities were created for use with Years 5 and 6 learners to raise their awareness of the benefits of bilingual skills, including the social, educational and economic benefits.
One example is to have two dolls that are similar in appearance, and present a story about the dolls to the learners. They are twins who have been brought up as Welsh speakers. Both had a Welsh-medium education at primary school. One went on to receive a Welsh-medium education at secondary school, but the other followed her friends and chose an English-medium education. One went to college in Wales while the other went to college in England. One of them retained her Welsh while the other lost the language after spending years working in London. By coincidence, years later both applied for the same job – a senior job with a good salary in an area of Wales with a high number of Welsh speakers.
The learners are told that one twin has bilingual skills, and is therefore able to speak to everyone, in either English or Welsh. The other twin can only speak English. There is a discussion on the importance of giving customers a choice of language and on the rights of Welsh speakers. Learners are asked to choose which candidate should be given the job. In all cases, without exception, the learners chose the twin with bilingual skills. The result of the exercise is that the learners themselves realise the benefits of having bilingual skills”.
We find this to be an INCOMPREHENSIBLE ONSLAUGHT on young minds whilst in care of teachers who parents trust to be there to enlighten, teach and impart knowledge and not BRAIN WASH innocent little minds and again Conwy LEA is one of the leading proponents of Leighton Andrews mission to destroy education in Wales!?
We need to protect the Welsh language and extend all practical and affordable support but we do not need it to be used as a straight jacket which only strangles and prevents the Welsh nation into developing into a culturally inclusive UK region that draws upon its best people to move Wales forward and to prosper irrespective of them being Welsh or English speakers.
Jacques Protic – March 2013