Current developments in Scottish education are offering Gaelic arts development body Fèisean nan Gàidheal significant opportunities in terms of training and development which could be of major benefit to the organisation and Gaelic learning.
Speaking after meeting in Portree on Tuesday 19 June with Alasdair Allan MSP, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, Arthur Cormack, Chief Executive of Fèisean nan Gàidheal said: “We took the opportunity to explain Fèisgoil to the Minister – our plans for the development of a new service to help manage some of the issues which emerge from time to time in Scottish schools where there might be little or no experience of dealing with Gaelic. There are a number of key areas we believe Fèisean nan Gàidheal could offer expertise to local authorities as they get to grips with changes and developments in the school system such as the opportunities afforded by Curriculum for Excellence and Gaelic medium education. There are also aspects of Scottish Studies proposals that we feel might benefit from our knowledge and skills base. The Scottish Government’s aspirations to give Scottish children the opportunity to learn three languages is a great step forward and we believe that we are ideally placed to offer local authorities help in providing the resources and skills required to make the initiative work in relation to Gaelic teaching.”
Mr Cormack added: “We all know that there are some areas where local authorities are challenged in terms of teacher supply and, as a consequence, cannot always meet parental aspirations. Fèisean nan Gàidheal can help address these issues in collaboration with the authorities whilst contributing in the wider sense to the campaign to increase the number of people learning Gaelic throughout Scotland and enabling its use. School children could increase their Gaelic awareness at a number of levels and then make appropriate choices as they go forward with changes in the curriculum offering them new opportunities.”
The visit to the Fèisean nan Gàidheal offices in Portree was an opportunity for the Minister to hear about the new proposals and also to discuss other areas in which the organisation is contributing to Gaelic development organising tuition festivals, as well as supporting other projects through Gaelic drama and music. Further details about the major music festival, Blas 2012, which is organised by Fèisean nan Gàidheal, will be revealed later this week.