By Aileen MacLennan
Council measures to encourage and expand the use of Gaelic across Argyll and Bute are continuing to pay dividends.
At a meeting of the Community Services Committee, councillors reviewed the area’s latest Gaelic Language Plan and noted the range of initiatives that are being delivered to support its use across Argyll and Bute. These include:
- Furan Gaelic Centre and a specialist Gaelic Administrator continue to provide crucial support to the area’s schools and the wider Gaelic community, such as weekly online Bookbug sessions for all children in early learning centres across the area
- All children transitioning from early learning centres to Primary 1 have taken part in a Gaelic transition project, based on the book; ‘The Everywhere Bear’
- Opportunities are being provided for parents and carers to engage with schools to learn more about opportunities to use Gaelic as part of a career choice
- In 2023/24, via a grant from the Scottish Government’s Islands and Repopulation Scheme, the council has engaged Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s education service, Fèisgoil, to offer island schools on Coll, Tiree and Bute the opportunity to participate in a workshop showcasing opportunities for Gaelic learners and speakers in a variety of industries
- As part of the ongoing focus on supporting Gaelic provision in schools, a wide range of interactive teaching resources has been developed to assist non‐Gaelic specialist teachers, and this is showing positive results for Gaelic language learning in all areas including those who, historically, have not previously delivered Gaelic education
Other measures include support for the Royal National Mod, offering free Live Argyll venues for local Mods, creating a higher profile for Gaelic in commercial, retail, food and drink, and tourism sectors and maximising the economic impact of Gaelic at events/festivals held in Argyll and Bute.
Council Leader Robin Currie, right, said: “Gaelic has played an important part in the history of Argyll and Bute and it’s in all our interests to help it flourish. The council has a duty under the Gaelic Language Act to prepare and deliver a Gaelic Language Plan annually.
“The latest report makes clear that the wide variety of initiatives and resources we have introduced are playing an important part in supporting the drive to expand opportunities for our young people to learn the Gaelic language and encourage its use across Argyll and Bute.
“Our work alongside our specialist partners is helping to enhance and enrich the curriculum which our schools can offer students and highlight opportunities for the use of Gaelic in their future careers.”
Top picture: The Calmac ferry Lord of the Isles sailing into Oban Harbour in Argyll. Picture by Bill Heaney