STUDENTS are working hard to meet an increase in demand for more Welsh language teachers.
Coleg Cambria learners Mirain Gwyn, Lisa Fanson, Elin Roberts and Abbie Griffiths are all set to study Primary Education through the medium of Welsh at Bangor University from September.
Their commitment to preserving the language and helping fill a void for more bilingual teachers in schools across the country comes as the Welsh Government targets one million Welsh speakers by 2050.
All four are currently studying A Levels – including Welsh First Language – at Cambria’s Yale site in Wrexham.
Mirain, Elin and Abbie were also successful in securing three of around 40 scholarships to study for the degree at Bangor, having excelled in entrance exams.
They look forward to joining the teaching profession in the future.
“It is incredibly important we try and encourage the younger generation about the language and culture that comes with being Welsh,” said Abbie, from Wrexham, a former pupil at Ysgol Morgan Llwyd.
Mirain, from Ruthin and an ex-student at the town’s Ysgol Brynhyfryd, added: “I definitely feel it’s more important than ever these teaching roles are filled in order to pass on the Welsh language to the next generation and to develop Welsh education, so they can have the same opportunities we’ve had.”
Former Ysgol Dinas Bran Llangollen pupil Lisa, from Glyndyfrdwy, and Elin, who also spent her secondary education at Morgan Llwyd, Wrexham, thanked lecturers at the college for guiding and inspiring them to follow this path.
“I am so grateful to everyone who has supported me and helped me over the last two years,” said Lisa.
“I am excited to start this new journey alongside my friends and look forward to making new ones at university.”
Elin added: “I am looking forward to starting at Bangor, especially with these familiar faces.
“All of the staff and lecturers have been so helpful and supportive during our time here – we can’t thank them enough.”
The Welsh Government recently announced a new £5,000 bursary will be available to teachers who gained Qualified Teacher Status from August 2020 onwards, and who have completed three years of teaching Welsh or through the medium of Welsh.
The bursary will initially be available until Autumn 2028 to assess its success in encouraging teachers to enter and remain in the profession.
Alongside this, a second round of the Welsh-medium workforce capacity building grant was opened, with a total pot of £800,000. This scheme provides small grants to schools so they can develop innovative ways of resolving recruitment challenges.
Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “One of our biggest priorities for achieving a million Welsh speakers is making sure we have enough teachers to meet the demand for learning in Welsh.
“This package of support will strengthen our Welsh-speaking education workforce and ensure more people can take advantage of the exciting career opportunities on offer.”
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