Welsh Education: Parental anguish as the D day approaches

Plaid Cymru-controlled Carmarthenshire County Council has been at war with Llangennech parents for over a year now in trying to impose Welsh Medium Education in local primary schools.

‘Consultation process’ is now over and this Wednesday (18th January 2017) it’s expected the Carmarthenshire Council vote will impose Council’s agenda and its will on people of Llangennech.

The parents who have shown a huge courage and determination throughout their dispute with the Council took an unusual step recently and have circulated the following document to all Councilors and other interested parties (Click on the image to enlarge):
Even at this stage, Carmarthenshire Council continues to use disinformation (Note the way the ‘consultation’ process was summarised by including 100’s of largely anonymous ‘Welsh language supporters’ and most living outside of the County of Carmarthenshire) and we should not forget the L1 Welsh kids who have been bussed in, in numbers to try and show a ‘Welsh language’ demand that doesn’t actually exist within the school’s catchment area!

Individuals behind the Council’s bullying of parents to accept Welsh Medium Education include Carmarthenshire’s Director of Education Mr Rob Sully, an army of Plaid Cymru’s Councilors lead by Cllr Gareth Jones, most of Llangennech School Governors headed by their Chairman (Tim Davies), School’s headmaster and most of the teaching staff, who all just happen to be the Welsh language 1 speakers!

Unusually for the Welsh media, the local papers (Llanelli Herald and Llanelli Star) provided a reasonable level of information of the issues but failed to challenge the wild and often inaccurate assertions as to the benefits Welsh Medium education endlessly spouted by the Carmarthen establishment and their supporters.

If the truth is to be told, there are ZERO benefits for the English-speaking children to undergo Welsh language immersion in the ever so crucial the early years learning period.

It’s interesting to note that the Welsh language immersion in primary education as used by many Welsh Local Education Authorities and often without parental consent is defined by UNICEF as SUBMERSION – Where L1 English kids are being educated in a language with inferior opportunities pretty much on a ‘sink or swim’ basis: Pure evil IMHO!

The damage is huge and lasting and supported by mountains of evidence provided by UNESCO, Save the Children Foundation, Welsh Government’s education statistics and other information available in the public domain.

I genuinely admire and support the effort and all the hard work Llangennech parents have done in their quest for justice and fair play but do have a fundamental disagreement with their notion that the dual stream education is win-win for all.

Dual stream education by implication demands ‘bilingual’ teachers in the Welsh language context only and excludes teachers who may be far better qualified to inspire and educate the young minds outside of the Welsh state sponsored Welsh language ideology.

I firmly believe that the only option available to the Welsh Labour Government and the Local Education Authorities in Wales is to respect parental choices and have the WM or EM education strictly based on quantifiable and genuine parental demand.

I’ll conclude with an extract from the recent British Council Wales Education Development Trust comment:

“The question of whether Welsh is a language that many parents would choose also needs to be addressed with a global perspective in mind.

Welsh is a language we should foster and encourage and never let die. It is, however, and will remain a minority language and the more it is forced onto people the less support it will receive”. 

Jacques Protic 16.01.2017

 

 

16 thoughts on “Welsh Education: Parental anguish as the D day approaches

  1. We live in Aberystwyth where my children are in an all Welsh School that does not teach any English until they reach 8 years of age and I’m absolutely devastated that my children are unhappy and find it difficult to read any Welsh or learn anything useful and must be at least two years behind children who are in the nearby schools designated English with significant Welsh (We have two of those schools but both are oversubscribed and have long waiting lists).

    I can’t get any satisfactory answers to improve learning progress of my children and I get frustrated and angry when they constantly tell me ‘we are the best school in Wales and your children will benefit from being here’ which I know is a lie but, they make me feel helpless and in despair.

    Pushing Welsh language above all other considerations is wrong but no one is listening, especially those people who can make the changes and go back to the dual stream teaching that I had as a child and whilst we speak English at home I still have a good fluency in Welsh and use it daily in my work.

    I hope other parents who may have similar problems will be strong enough to voice concerns for the sake of their children who are being held back for something that will never work.

  2. Cymraeg coercion is the “V bomb” of the Welsh nationalist, they dress it up as cultural enrichment and subversively persuade parents they are unpatriotic to have their children educated in the impure Germanic tongue of English.

    Let there be no doubt of the nationalist coercion plan, A Welsh speaking Wales = A separatist, independent, Anglophobic Wales where 13th and 15th century battles can be reignited. The nationalists of Scotland and Wales both live in twisted time warp where English people are seen as the “Saxon invader” and “celts” the innocent pure native.

    Plaid and the SNP have fooled their new found friends in the Guardian by posing as “progressive” but those of us who live among Welsh nationalism know you don’t have to scratch far below the surface to see the truth. Nothing more offensive than hearing Leanne Wood on Radio 4 Any Questions 3/2/17 telling Jonathan Dimbleby and an audience in Tywyn of all places (geddit?) that this and that politician speak the language of the1930’s Germany !!! What about about her party rejecting housing in Gwynedd because of a “tidal wave of Englishness” ?

    I am not a socialist and no fan of the Labour party but there is plenty of good people within. Its time they woke up from their tribal obsession of attacking anything the Tories do and focus on the real enemies in the trojan horse posing to be “progressive” because there is NOTHING “progressive” about Plaid Cymru and the SNP whose raison d’etre is to divide the nation from tip to toe.

    21st century National Socialism wears a “progressive” mask.

  3. Ok JP, let’s play this game then :-

    Declaration on the rights of persons belonging to National or ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities UN Act 1992

    Article 1

    1. States shall protect the existence and the national or ethnic, cultural,
    religious and linguistic identity of minorities within their respective
    territories and shall encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity.

    2. States shall adopt appropriate legislative and other measures to achieve
    those ends.

    Article 2

    1. Persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic
    minorities (hereinafter referred to as persons belonging to minorities) have
    the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own
    religion, and to use their own language, in private and in public, freely and
    without interference or any form of discrimination.

    2. Persons belonging to minorities have the right to participate
    effectively in cultural, religious, social, economic and public life.

    3. Persons belonging to minorities have the right to participate
    effectively in decisions on the national and, where appropriate, regional
    level concerning the minority to which they belong or the regions in which
    they live, in a manner not incompatible with national legislation.

    4. Persons belonging to minorities have the right to establish and maintain
    their own associations.

    5. Persons belonging to minorities have the right to establish and
    maintain, without any discrimination, free and peaceful contacts with other
    members of their group and with persons belonging to other minorities, as well
    as contacts across frontiers with citizens of other States to whom they are
    related by national or ethnic, religious or linguistic ties.

    Article 3

    1. Persons belonging to minorities may exercise their rights, including
    those set forth in the present Declaration, individually as well as in
    community with other members of their group, without any discrimination.

    2. No disadvantage shall result for any person belonging to a minority as
    the consequence of the exercise or non-exercise of the rights set forth in the
    present Declaration.

    Article 4

    1. States shall take measures where required to ensure that persons
    belonging to minorities may exercise fully and effectively all their human
    rights and fundamental freedoms without any discrimination and in full
    equality before the law.

    2. States shall take measures to create favourable conditions to enable
    persons belonging to minorities to express their characteristics and to
    develop their culture, language, religion, traditions and customs, except
    where specific practices are in violation of national law and contrary to
    international standards.

    3. States should take appropriate measures so that, wherever possible,
    persons belonging to minorities may have adequate opportunities to learn their
    mother tongue or to have instruction in their mother tongue.

    4. States should, where appropriate, take measures in the field of
    education, in order to encourage knowledge of the history, traditions,
    language and culture of the minorities existing within their territory.
    Persons belonging to minorities should have adequate opportunities to gain
    knowledge of the society as a whole.

    • Nothing wrong with any of that Tarian. It’s taking it to the point where the rights and freedoms of people from the MAJORITY language group are infringed upon that is the problem. Also, UN cites that privileges extended to minorities shall not be used to detriment of the majority!

      • Protection of minority languages is a human rights obligation, UN expert says :-
        “Language is a central element and expression of identity and of key importance in the preservation of group identity,” the UN Independent Expert on minority issues, Rita Izsák, said as she presented her latest report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

        “Language is particularly important to linguistic minority communities seeking to maintain their distinct group and cultural identity, sometimes under conditions of marginalization, exclusion and discrimination.”

        She added that language can be a source of tension since proponents of linguistic rights have sometimes been associated with secessionist movements or have been seen as a threat to the integrity or unity of a State, which has “aggressively promoted a single national language as a means of reinforcing sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity.”
        According to the expert, historical factors such as colonialism have had a huge global impact on languages, resulting in the marginalization of and a rapid decline in the use of indigenous and minority languages, which were often seen as backwards, a barrier to colonial hegemony, or as slowing national development.

        Deja vu I think , time you colonists buggered off somewhere else to bully the local populations

        • I’m truly Speechless Tarian – No one I know wants to obliterate the Welsh language or stop Welsh speaking parents choosing it as a principal language to educate their children. What Glasnost UK and I stand for is for the same freedom to be extended to parents who want English Medium education for their children!

          • I say again with regards to the Llangennech English zealots, there are 14 EM primary schools within a 3mile radius of that village, only 2 WM schools available for Cymraeg speakers to travel long distances to attend. You will not be satisfied until there are no schools for Cymraeg speakers.. As for the Sais, you have more than enough schools to choose from

          • Can you surprises us Tarian and at some stage post a comment fee of insults or the abuse of those who prefer to live their lives through the English language (circa 80% + of the Welsh population)?

            Again, you seem to miss the point, especially regarding the Llangennech situation. Welsh language 1 kids are shipped (bussed) FOC by the Carmarthenshire County Council (CCC), not because these children live in areas where there are no WM schools but shipped into Llangennech to ‘inflate’ a non-existent demand!

            In the current situation, the CCC are acting against parental wishes (the vast majority) and have made it clear, should the parents choose not to submerse their children into the Welsh Medium education within the newly created all Welsh Medium school in Llangenech, then they will have to fund the transport for their kids themselves!

  4. The minutes are here:
    http://democracy.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/mgAi.aspx?ID=4845

    It’s interesting to see the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) refers to “bilingual young people” rather than the more usual order of “young bilingual people” as if “bilingual” to them is a more tenuous concept than “young”. Could there be an ulterior motive there? Will they declare someone bilingual just because they can say “good morning” and “thank you” in Welsh?

    • Thanks for your comment JFTB – Asked some of my brainy friends on how to respond to your question and this is what they came up with:

      “Pupils who come from Welsh speaking homes and go into WM primary schools are NOT going into language “submersion”, they are learning language, writing and number through their first language from teachers who speak only their first language.

      WM pupils coming from English only homes ARE going into Welsh language submersion. They are listening to an adult who speaks a language that they do not understand. They are in a class where the Welsh L1 pupils have every advantage both in learning skills and in building rapport with the teacher.

      When both sets of children leave at age 11 there is a marked difference in ability. Welsh L1 pupils do much better academically in Welsh. English L1 pupils do marginally better in English. They do not have EQUAL academic ability yet in Carmarthenshire they will all be shifted into WM secondary streams (this is the next obvious stage; bilingual secondaries cut out EM streams).

      The term “bilingual” is misleading…the pupils are not EQUALLY bilingual.”

      PS – From my experience, the LEA where my kids are taught classes them as ‘Bilingual’ but neither of them can put together a coherent sentence in Welsh no matter how hard they might try (This includes most of their mates too) – It’s all about the numbers and disinformation in order to promote Orwellian Social Engineering in Wales and privileges for the minority!

        • Nothing racist Tarian, as I fully respect all cultures and their languages. The point I’m making is that no state must impose it’s politically driven ideology, especially on children of Wales where English is the first language of the majority. See what UNESCO and Save the Children Foundation have to say about this very issue – The Parental choice must be respected!

          • “You came to live here”……..”racist bile”…….I do not see any such rantings or insinuations, except from you Tarian. It should be one’s right to embrace the Welsh language or to choose not to. Not be made to speak it!

            I lived in Spain for 7 years with my children and they were bilingual, in a language I FEEL will give them the confidence to travel the world and feel comfortable within a Spanish-speaking environment.

            Welsh does not provide this, in my opinion. If parents want their children to speak Welsh, there are plenty of Welsh speaking schools within Wales. I do not see how it will be of benefit to MY children being force fed this language.

            This is my opinion and one I am entitled to have. I completely agree, parental choice MUST be respected and I am going to fight tooth and nail to have that choice!

    • Thank you, Michaela and best of luck with the S4C tonight. A great shame that the BBC CYMRU (wales) is denying their non-Welsh speaking audiences to hear the parental plight from Llangennech. J. xxx

      • Plaid have got stuck in demonising Michaela and anyone else who dares to think educating their children in the worlds most widespread language might actually be beneficial to them.

        Their leader Leanne Wood – the eternal learner now runs to Carwyn like a school yard snitch telling him his members might be talking to the evil UKIP whom she regards as worse than the Nazis, not only did UKIP recently win the Brexit argument in Wales – which she undemocratically refuses to accept but she should remember that when Nazi bombs were raining down on Londoners her party couldn’t decide which side they were on and Gwynfor Evans preferred they be blown to pieces than be sheltered in a safe Welsh speaking village, not really surprising for a man who let other able bodied men die for his freedom, no wonder Plaid Cymru worship him so much.

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