HALIFAX: A local MLA is concerned about the state of Gaelic education after its exclusion from the Glaze report.
On March 7, Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster asked Nova Scotia Education Minister Zach Churchill about the lack of the term Gaelic or Gael in the “Raise the Bar” report. conducted by Dr. Avis Glaze on education in Nova Scotia. MacMaster said there was an emphasis on improving curriculum “to reflect the distinct culture and history of this province’s Acadians, Mi’kmaq, African Nova Scotians, and Gaels,” but no such measures were made in the Glaze report.
“There have been some positive changes over the last almost 20 years that allow Gaelic to be in school,” said MacMaster. “The demand is there for it. In the Glaze report, we didn’t see a mention of it.”
Churchill said he received notifications from Gaels stating they did not feel that they were properly consulted in terms of the recommendations that came forward in Glaze’s report.
“I think we need to make sure we have an open line of communication with that community and see what they need,” said Churchill. “I know that they do benefit from the Gaelic College… If there are additions that we need to look at in terms of making sure that we have a curriculum that is fully sensitive to the cultures in this province, I’m very happy to hear recommendations.”
MacMaster said there are thousands of Nova Scotians in different parts of the province who want to learn Gaelic
“Those people need the support of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and they need the support of this government,” said the Inverness MLA, before asking Churchill how the education department will work with the Gaelic community to include the Gaelic culture in the province’s education system.
Churchill said the best way to accomplish such a goal is through enhancing the province’s curriculum.
“I think the most important thing he said in response is that he’s happy to hear recommendations and I intend to work with the Gaelic community to ensure he has some good positive recommendations so that there is more comprehensive Gaelic curriculum in the schools, whether it’s related to language or whether it’s related to history,” MacMaster added.