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High school students mobilize to defend the Breton language in France

Even if the Breton language remains part of the regional offer, in Carhaix high school students were voicing their fear of seeing the number of hours of Breton lessons decrease.

Published: March 26, 2021, 8:33 am

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    Carhaix

    On Thursday, March 25, high school students from the Diwan school in Carhaix (Finistère) deployed banners for about fifteen minutes to defend the Breton language, threatened by the limited number of teachers despite the increase in demand. One of the high school students, Milig, explained to French regional daily Ouest France: “We would like the State to treat Breton differently at school”.

    A Diwan school is a school where teaching is done in the Breton language. It is part of a network of free and secular associative schools.

    The problem comes from the Ministry of National Education which is reluctant to increase the percentage of teaching posts. Lena Louarn, vice-president of the Region in charge of languages ​​of Brittany, confided to France Bleu that “the crisis in which we find ourselves is entirely due to the decisions of the ministry”.

    On March 13, more than 5 000 demonstrators gathered in Quimper in favour of the defense of regional languages ​​in Brittany. As the last agreement expires, the task of renegotiating it will fall to the next regional majority.

    Several thousand demonstrators had responded to the call of the Breton and Gallo teaching associations for the defence of Breton and Gallo. They were demanding the signing of a State-Region convention, which is currently being postponed.

    The latter could not be renewed in Brittany following the showdown started by the President of the Region with the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer.

    Political figures from all political stripes joined in the mobilization. During the speeches of association presidents and elected politicians, all insisted on the importance of the State-Region agreement on the teaching of regional languages. They blasted “the blockages and brakes in Paris”, demanding that certain decisions be decentralized on this issue.

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