NEWS

Polish language at schools in Scotland? It's possible

Polish language at schools in Scotland? It's possible

Despite the Brexit vote, Scotland has decided to make EU nationals feel more welcome by teaching Polish in Scottish schools. During a debate on the impact of Britain's decision to leave the EU held in Edinburgh, the Scottish Government said that it would like to include Polish language in the Scottish academic curriculum.

Education Secretary John Swinney said he would ''look very carefully'' before adding Polish as one of the courses to be offered at schools alongside French and German.

When a Polish woman explained why the inclusion of Polish language at schools was important for Polish children who belong to the largest minority group in Scoltland, Mr. Swinney said she had raised ''a very serious and significant point.''

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He remarked: ''I know from my own constituency experience of the significance of the Polish community and every from my own son's primary two class. A significant proportion of that class are young people from Polish families living within our community. I'll look very carefully at the arguments about that and will give further thought how we can address the issue.''

Although the language is taught at some community schools, Polish communities in Scotland have been lobbying the authorities to include Polish language at Scottish schools for more than a year now. There are more Polish nationals living in Scotland than any other groups from outside the UK. A recent report reveals that an estimated population of 80,000 Poles are moving to the north of the Border, and 12,000 of them will be enrolling at schools and nurseries.

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In recent years, Polish children have made up over seven per cent of the total student population in Scotland. For instance, 30 percent of total students at St Augustine's High School in Edinburgh have Polish parents.
Dr. Anna Martowics, a Polish language teacher and linguist said, '' Based on a report on the introduction of Polish qualifications to Scottish schools last year, it would be best if Polish language was introduced at National 4, 5 and Higher levels.''

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She explained, '' Our figures from last year demonstrate the demand for Polish among the children of Polish migrants, but also suggest an opportunity for non-Polish speakers to learn the language in a supportive environment.''

AG

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