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TITLE
Fred MacAulay on Decline of Gaelic (3 of 3)
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_FREDMACAULAY_10
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
Fred MacAulay
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1628
KEYWORDS
Outer Hebrides
broadcasting
audio

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Fred MacAulay was born in Sollas, North Uist, in 1925. Educated at Inverness Academy and Edinburgh University, he went on to become Senior Gaelic Producer of BBC Scotland in 1964, and Manager of BBC Highland in 1979. An active campaigner for the continuation of the Gaelic language, he was one of the most distinguished Gaels of his generation and made a lasting contribution to Gaelic culture. He died in Inverness in 2003, aged 78. In this audio extract, originally recorded for 'Moray Firth People' in 1983, Fred talks to Sam Marshall about the decline of the Gaelic language.

Interviewer: What about Gaelic in the schools? Did they do nothing to - ?

Oh that, that's, that's one of the shameful things in, in the history of education. You know, the Education Act of 1872 made no provision whatsoever for, for Gaelic. In fact, the, the word 'Gaelic' is not, not even mentioned in 1872. And then, as a result of well, representations I suppose, there is a mention, very grudgingly, in 1878 and I quote, 'School Boards are permitted to pay out of the school income part of the salary of an organising teacher, or of a teacher of Gaelic, drill, cooking, or any other specific subject.' So that's you Gaelic language at a very fine peep, I reckon, at that point. And it remains like that, you see? This is 1878 and there is no change till 1918 and that's after much representation. An act of parliament recommends that 'the Department of Education make adequate provision for teaching Gaelic in Gaelic-speaking areas'.' Now, if, if you know bureaucracy at all you'll know the meaning of 'adequate' in that; it's, it's an escape clause. And then 1956 is your next famous point at which, again it says, 'In Gaelic-speaking areas reasonable provision shall be made in scheme of work for the instruction of Gaelic-speaking pupils in the Gaelic language and literature, and the Gaelic language shall be used, where appropriate, for instructing Gaelic-speaking pupils in other subjects'. In other words, another one escaping the whole thing and it wasn't till after that - actually that was the clause, actually, which led to a pilot scheme in Inverness-shire and Ross-shire where Gaelic was actually taught on a bi-lingual basis, and out of which grew the bilingual policy of the Western Isles - the bilingual project there

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Fred MacAulay on Decline of Gaelic (3 of 3)

1980s

Outer Hebrides; broadcasting; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Fred MacAulay

Fred MacAulay was born in Sollas, North Uist, in 1925. Educated at Inverness Academy and Edinburgh University, he went on to become Senior Gaelic Producer of BBC Scotland in 1964, and Manager of BBC Highland in 1979. An active campaigner for the continuation of the Gaelic language, he was one of the most distinguished Gaels of his generation and made a lasting contribution to Gaelic culture. He died in Inverness in 2003, aged 78. In this audio extract, originally recorded for 'Moray Firth People' in 1983, Fred talks to Sam Marshall about the decline of the Gaelic language.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: What about Gaelic in the schools? Did they do nothing to - ?<br /> <br /> Oh that, that's, that's one of the shameful things in, in the history of education. You know, the Education Act of 1872 made no provision whatsoever for, for Gaelic. In fact, the, the word 'Gaelic' is not, not even mentioned in 1872. And then, as a result of well, representations I suppose, there is a mention, very grudgingly, in 1878 and I quote, 'School Boards are permitted to pay out of the school income part of the salary of an organising teacher, or of a teacher of Gaelic, drill, cooking, or any other specific subject.' So that's you Gaelic language at a very fine peep, I reckon, at that point. And it remains like that, you see? This is 1878 and there is no change till 1918 and that's after much representation. An act of parliament recommends that 'the Department of Education make adequate provision for teaching Gaelic in Gaelic-speaking areas'.' Now, if, if you know bureaucracy at all you'll know the meaning of 'adequate' in that; it's, it's an escape clause. And then 1956 is your next famous point at which, again it says, 'In Gaelic-speaking areas reasonable provision shall be made in scheme of work for the instruction of Gaelic-speaking pupils in the Gaelic language and literature, and the Gaelic language shall be used, where appropriate, for instructing Gaelic-speaking pupils in other subjects'. In other words, another one escaping the whole thing and it wasn't till after that - actually that was the clause, actually, which led to a pilot scheme in Inverness-shire and Ross-shire where Gaelic was actually taught on a bi-lingual basis, and out of which grew the bilingual policy of the Western Isles - the bilingual project there