Teach teachers

In the early days of what we may still call the current Gaelic revival, when Gaelic-medium education was in its infancy, I recall, in researching an article on the subject, calling a Welsh director of education.

How, I asked, do you deal with any shortage of teachers?

“We send them on courses,” he replied, meaning that otherwise qualified candidates who didn’t have the language would be sent on immersion courses.

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As we now have similar Ulpan courses in Gaelic, also based on the original scheme that established Hebrew as the national language of Israel, it should not be beyond the wit (or will) of the authorities, at national and local levels, to create an environment where teachers – and head teachers – can be recruited, regardless of linguistic skills, and enabled to find their productive place in Gaelic-medium education.

In broader terms, there is clearly much that needs to be done.

A bit of targeted promotion might persuade young musicians to form new bands across the rock and pop spectrum.

I’m too long in the canine to be knowledgeable in this terrain, but closer to home, The Scotsman could contribute to the status of the language by moving its excellent weekly Gaelic page forward: immediately after the obituaries is not the cheeriest placing!

Aonghas Macneacail