Saturday, 8 August 2009

Response to language strategy

The Welsh Government recently published a new draft strategy for Welsh-medium education, and Plaid's 30-strong group of councillors in Carmarthenshire has this week given its response. Group leader, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said, "Carmarthenshire is one of a very small number of counties in Wales where there is still a majority of Welsh speakers. It is absolutely crucial for a county like this that there is a strong and clear strategy for the expansion of Welsh medium education, and we welcome the fact that the Government has produced the first-ever national strategy for doing this. There are, however, a number of weaknesses, and we have highlighted these in our response.

"We very much welcome the One Wales Government's proposal to ensure that a proper and thorough survey is conducted to establish the true level of parental demand. This is something for which we have been calling in the county council although to date the Labour/Independent administration has refused to properly carry out a survey. Instead, we have had a sham questionnaire in one part of the county, with no real attempt to fully explain the advantages. But most important of all, there is no purpose in obliging councils to conduct surveys unless they are also then obliged to make provision to meet the full level of demand highlighted by those surveys.

"We also felt that the targets being set were not ambitious enough, particularly in a county like Carmarthenshire, and have called on the government to set more challenging targets."

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