Gaelic-medium pushed by parents;Letter

5th January 1996 at 00:00
As a parent whose daughter is one of 50 fortunate youngsters who are educated through the medium of Gaelic in an Edinburgh school, I wish to add my support to Farquhar Macintosh's excellent article (TESS, Platform, November 24). Co-ordination of the teacher supply and demand issue is essential to the future progress of Gaelic medium education, as is the continuation of central government funding to enable necessary expansion locally to most parental expectations.

Gaelic-medium education has, from the outset, been a parent-driven initiative, and it is a tribute to the determination of parents up and down the country, that it has prospered to the extent that it has, considering the limitations under which the system operates. Any established education system needs to be properly structured, with suitable staffing levels, adequate resources, and firm long-term planning.

To achieve this would not be prohibitive in cost. Scottish Office and local authorities that have already committed resources to Gaelic-medium education should be proud of their contribution to what has developed into an educational success story. Yet there seems to be a reluctance to promote Gaelic education. The TESS's own Focus on Lothian on November 24, celebrating 20 years of educational achievements in this region, failed to mention Gaelic, although a thriving Gaelic-medium unit has operated at Tollcross School, Edinburgh since 1988. Parents here are proud of Lothian's support for its Gaelic-speaking children.

JOHN MACLEOD

15 The Murrays,

Edinburgh.

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