Choice – Not Compulsion – The Welsh Language Challenge
The Welsh Government has set a target of having one million Welsh speakers by 2050. In order to do this, local councils across the country are opening more Welsh medium schools. In some areas, parents are losing the ability to choose whether their child should be educated through the medium of Welsh or English. In other words, they are being forced to send their children to Welsh medium schools. (This has already happened in Llangennech, near Llanelli.)
We should, of course, protect the Welsh Language, but learning and speaking Welsh should be a choice. The Welsh Government should focus their efforts on areas in Wales where the Welsh language already exists as the first language of the majority of the people.
I will call on the Welsh Government to abandon their one million Welsh Speakers target. The money would
be better targeted on helping existing Welsh language communities to thrive. But we also need to
ensure that parents and pupils have a real choice when it comes to their education.
Moving on from education, many people find that they are not able to gain employment, particularly in the public sector, if they cannot speak basic Welsh.
I will demand an end to this form of discrimination, so that job candidates can obtain roles on merit, not on their ability to speak Welsh.