IT IS very encouraging to see a well-written letter in English from Arthur Cormack (Letters, 24 November) defending the simple right to appoint Gaelic-speaking staff to teaching posts where Gaelic skills are a basic requirement for the job.
However, his assertions that spending on Gaelic attracts “disproportionate scrutiny” and anyone can “skill up” their Gaelic bear little relation to reality.
The Gaelic lobby, including Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the language planning quango which he long chaired, has refused over many years to invest in adult literacy.
Most native Gaelic speakers don’t read their own language. Deprivation at that level has a knock-on effect through the whole system. It’s not easy for native speakers to “skill up” to reading and writing Gaelic and they are effectively barred from most professional roles.
That there is, therefore, a shortage of Gaelic teachers can be no surprise. The Gaelic lobby has planned for that to happen by refusing to equip its own people with the basic reading skills they need for life-long learning and professional development. That is a scandal that deserves further scrutiny.