No cuts to Léargas – The Irish language can’t afford Capitalism/Seasaimis in éadan Chiorruithe ar Léargas – Ní hAcmhainn don Chaipitleachas an Ghaeilge

Tá ciorruithe tromchúiseach in ndán don chlár Ghaeilge Léargas, a chuireann múinteoirí Gaeilge ar fáil do 15 bunscoil Béarla san Iarthuaisceart,. Deir Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, an eagraíocht a chuireann Léargas ar fáil, “ta díoma agus fearg an domhain orainn go gcaillfidh 1,600 páiste an seans rang Gaeilge uair an chloig gach seachtain a bheith acu” i ráiteas s’acu ar líne faoi dheireadh á chur leis an mhaoiniú.

By Eóin Dawson

Tá ciorruithe tromchúiseach in ndán don chlár Ghaeilge Léargas, a chuireann múinteoirí Gaeilge ar fáil do 15 bunscoil Béarla san Iarthuaisceart,. Deir Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, an eagraíocht a chuireann Léargas ar fáil, “ta díoma agus fearg an domhain orainn go gcaillfidh 1,600 páiste an seans rang Gaeilge uair an chloig gach seachtain a bheith acu” i ráiteas s’acu ar líne faoi dheireadh á chur leis an mhaoiniú.

Gearrfar an tseirbhís, a chuireann 75 ceachtanna Gaeilge sa tseachtain ar fáil do dhaltaí 9-11 bliain d’aois, ag deireadh mhí na Bealtaine. Blaiseadh beag is ea seo ar chiorruithe bhuiséid an Roinn Oideachais. Fógraíodh na ciorruithe ar an lá chéanna a dhruideadh an chuid is mó de scoileanna mar páirt den ghníomh stailce ó chúig cheardchumann múinteoirí.

Níl í gciorruithe Léargas ach tús le bearta déine crua a fheictear sa Tuaisceart ó rinne rialtas Con-Dem slad ar sheirbhísí sa tréimhse 2010-2015. Tá tuilleadh le teacht, a bhuí le Rúnaí TÉ, an Tóraí Chris Heaton-Harris.

Is é an meon caipitleach ná nach acmhainn dúinn tacú le tionscadail mar fhorbairt na Gaeilge. Sin a fáth nár daingníodh maoiniú mar sheirbhísí formalta an Údarás Um Oideachas, in ainneoin é bheith ar an fhód le 10 mbliain anuas.

Léiríonn na ciorruithe seo a leochailleach is atá mionghrúpaí cosúil le cainteoirí agus foghlaimeoirí Gaeilge.

Is é freagra Sóisialaithe ná “arán agus rósanna” a éileamh – na rudaí sin a líonann an corp agus an meanma araon. Tá fuílleach saibhris sa tsochaí le córas oideachas a mhaoiniú a mhúineann níos mó ná “litearthacht, scríbhneoireacht agus uimhríocht” amháin. Ba chóir don oideachas, ag achan leibhéal, i ngach áit bheith saor, inrochtana do chách agus saor ó bhearta déine agus tráchtearruithe. Tá sé ar oibrithe, cheardchumannaithe agus dhaoine óga troid ar son córas sóisialta a sholáthraíonn an t-oideachas atá tuillte ag ar bpáistí – córas sóisialach. 

The “Léargas” Irish language programme, which provides Irish language tutors to 14 primary schools in the Northwest is slated for a significant funding cut. Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, the organisation that delivers Léargas, said “this is a hugely disappointing decision that will see 1,600 children across 15 schools in the city lose access to their only hourly Irish class each week” in an online statement announcing the end of funding.

The service delivers 75 Irish lessons per week to pupils aged 9-11 years and will have its funding end in May. This is just one part of Department of Education budget cuts. The announcement came on the same day that a majority of schools closed due to strike action by all 5 teaching unions. 

The Léargas cut is just the beginning of some of the harshest austerity measures seen in the North since the onslaught of the 2010-2015 Con-Dem government. And more are on their way, care of Tory NI secretary Chris Heaton-Harris. 

These cuts demonstrate the vulnerability of minority groups such as Irish language speakers and learners. 

Capitalism views projects such as supporting Irish language development as a luxury. This is why the funding was never consolidated into a formal service delivered by the Education Authority, despite running for over 10 years. 

Socialist respond to this by calling for “bread and roses” – those things that enrich both the body and the spirit. There is more than enough wealth in society to fund an education system that teaches more than just “reading, writing and arithmetic”. Education at all levels, in all areas, should be free and accessible to all, liberated from the reins of austerity and commodification. It is up to workers, trade unionists and young people to struggle for a social system that delivers the education our children deserve – a socialist system. 

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