Aontú Education Spokesperson and Representative for East Derry expresses wholehearted support for the recent call by Irish Language body Gael Linn for urgent and decisive action regarding modern languages.
“Aontú fully support Irish Language body Gael Linn in their call for the Department to recommend all pupils should study a language at GCSE. We have recently expressed our concern at disappointment at lack of commitment given to languages in the suction system across the North” confirmed Ms Brolly who herself speaks and teaches in Irish.
“Between dropping the Primary Languages Programme, something I myself witnessed the huge benefits of, making languages non-compulsory at GCSE and the collapse of the majority of teaching of modern languages during COVID we have been forced into a position where uptake of modern languages at GCSE level has fallen by almost 40% in the last 15 years. We are now at a critical point which requires ‘urgent and decisive action,’ as Gael Linn themselves have stated in their open letter” said Ms. Brolly.
“Whilst the uptake of the GCSE Irish flourishes through Irish medium and the numbers are steadily increasing, the uptake in English medium schools has almost halved. This is not a choice, one element of our education system should not be made to suffer as the other is doing so well but that is certainly how it looks.
Ms. Brolly reminds us “our youth have a recognised human right to an “education directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
We would also like to reiterate our demand for fair accessibility to A-level Irish language courses for our young people throughout the North.
As Education spokesperson and a gaeilgeoir myself,on behalf of Aontú I would like to assure Gael Linn and all involved that we stand firmly,shoulder to shoulder with teachers,academics,authors and Irish language activists in their demand for urgent and decisive action to undo the wrongs and commit to recommendation of studying a modern language at GCSE level.”