Tuesday 12 July 2016

Eluned Morgan

Thank you, Presiding Officer. May I congratulate the Minister on his appointment to this important portfolio? I want to concentrate on one particular issue and that is the issue of Welsh for adults.

In 2014-15, £10 million was spent on teaching Welsh to adults. Some 14,000 people participated in that programme, which works out at around £700 per capita for those people participating in those courses. But, only 10 per cent of those that participated in the courses actually received any sort of qualification at the end of the course. And I understand why that’s the case; a number of adults don’t want the additional stress in their lives and they don’t want to take the exams. But, I would like to know how the Government can be confident about the quality of teaching and the value for taxpayers unless people take those examinations. How can we have clarity that the standard of teaching is going to be consistent across Wales, and how is the National Centre for Learning Welsh going to ensure that the system is in place so that we can be assured that there is value for taxpayers? I think that we do need to ensure—and I hope that the Minister will agree with me on this—that we have the highest standards and consistency across Wales in this effort to reach a million Welsh speakers by 2050. Thank you.

 

Alun Davies

Thank you to you. I appreciate what lies behind that question. It’s very important that people reach a level where they can speak and use the Welsh language. I see how important that is in terms of communication, and feeling confident to be fluent, and to be able to communicate through the medium of Welsh.

One of the things that we’ve done in establishing the National Centre for Learning Welsh is to create a scrutiny committee that is led by Steve Morris in Swansea University, which will ensure that the standards that are provided do reach the targets and the aims that the Member has described. It’s important that we provide courses that are appropriate in all parts of the nation; courses that meet people’s needs and are provided in a way that people want, and then, courses that create that ability to use, speak and feel confident in using the Welsh language. That’s what I’m confident that the national centre wants to achieve.
I have met the senior officials of the centre; I’ve spoken in their conference last week and I’m very confident that this will lead to more people not just going on those courses, but more people speaking the Welsh language, and that’s the aim of all of us, I believe.
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