Schools Receive Funding For Gaelic-language Instruction

Department of Education (to March 26, 2013)

October 2, 2007 2:25 PM

More Nova Scotia students will have the opportunity to study the Gaelic language thanks to program grants provided by the Department of Education.

Six schools have received $108,000 in funding to hire Gaelic language teachers, provide professional development opportunities and to purchase teaching and learning resources.

The program grants range from $3,625 to $30,000.

"The study of the Gaelic language and culture gives students a wonderful opportunity to develop a greater appreciation for Nova Scotia's diverse heritage," said Education Minister Karen Casey. "Students deserve an opportunity to learn one of this province's ancestral languages."

Schools receiving grants are:
-- Rankin School of the Narrows, Iona, $3,625;
-- Mira Road Elementary, Sydney, $10,250;
-- St. Andrew Junior School, Antigonish, $27,500;
-- St. Andrew Consolidated, St. Andrews, $30,000;
-- Inverness Education Centre/Academy, Inverness, $13,200;
-- Citadel High School, Halifax, $23,630;

Melissa Shaw, an English teacher who is heading Citadel's Gaelic Cultural Awareness Project, says interest in studying Gaelic is high among students at the city's newest high school.

"So many of our students come from a background where, only two generations ago, Gaelic was the first language, so it is really important that we validate the language and the culture in our schools," she said. "It's exciting that we may be able to do this."

Gaelic is considered one of the world's top nine languages in danger of disappearing. In Nova Scotia, there are fewer than 500 native speakers. The province once boasted as many as 100,000, the largest population of Gaelic speakers outside Scotland.

"The Gaelic language is at a critical stage in its evolution in Nova Scotia," said Angus MacIsaac, Minister for the Office of Gaelic Affairs. "It is important that we preserve and maintain Gaelic in Nova Scotia."

Close to 1,500 public school, adult and college students are estimated to be studying Gaelic in Nova Scotia. The language is offered in the public school system in grades 3 through 12.

The Department of Education recently developed curricula for Gaelic 10, 11 and 12 and, this year, will begin developing curriculum for elementary and junior high schools.

This year, the department will be target $200,000 in Gaelic program grants, which are intended to provide students with an introductory-level experience in the language.

Applications for additional projects for the winter and fall of 2007-08 are now being accepted. Deadline for applications is Nov. 1.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     More Nova Scotia students will have the opportunity to study

the Gaelic language thanks to program grants provided by the

Department of Education.

     Six schools have received $108,000 in funding to hire Gaelic

language teachers, provide professional development

opportunities and to purchase teaching and learning resources.

     The program grants range from $3,600 to $30,000.

     Education Minister Karen Casey said it is important that

more young Nova Scotians have an opportunity to learn one of the

province's ancestral languages.

     The Gaelic grants program is meant to provide an

introductory-level experience to students at any grade level.

     The Department of Education has targeted $200,000 in

Gaelic program grants this year. Applications for additional

projects beginning in the winter and fall of 2007-08 are now

being accepted. Deadline for applications is November 1st.

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Media Contact: Peter McLaughlin
              Department of Education
              902-424-8307
              E-mail: mclaugpx@gov.ns.ca