Tuesday, 19 June 2012, 4:54 PM
Scotland’s charity for the environment, Keep Scotland Beautiful, is to publish its Eco-Schools materials in Gaelic. The launch of the new documents in Scotland’s traditional language will take place at a special event on Skye on 19th June.
The Eco-Schools programme is an international initiative designed to encourage young people to become involved in environmental issues. Currently 3,700 schools throughout Scotland are registered with the programme.
This is the first time Keep Scotland Beautiful has published material in Gaelic, and the move has been supported by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, who supplied the funding for the translations. The launch of the new material will be attended by the Scottish Government Minister for Learning Science and Scotland’s Languages, Dr Alasdair Allan MSP.
The event will also highlight the links between the Eco-Schools programme and the John Muir Award, the main educational initiative of the John Muir Trust. The John Muir Trust also received funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig to create John Muir Award Gaelic resources.
The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places, and encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.
Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Chief Executive, Derek Robertson, said: ‘We are delighted to recognise Scotland’s proud heritage and culture by publishing these first five documents in our traditional language.
‘This will make our Eco-Schools programme much more accessible and meaningful to the many schoolchildren who learn through the medium of Gaelic, and will hopefully encourage them to continue the good work they are already doing in helping protect our environment.
‘We are very grateful to the Bòrd na Gàidhlig for their vital support in backing this idea, and we hope to further promote the Gaelic language by having our website and other materials translated.’’
Dr Allan said: ‘"Thousands of young people across Scotland have already got involved with the Eco-Schools programme and the John Muir Award, which help pupils understand and further appreciate our environment. I am very pleased that access to their resources has been broadened to include young people who have Gaelic.
‘ Both programmes are extremely popular in Scottish schools and provide great opportunities for young people to learn and develop skills in engaging ways, which is of course a key aim of Curriculum for Excellence. Offering these resources in Gaelic will widen opportunities and encourage more young people to get involved."
John Hutchison, Chairman of the John Muir Trust said: ‘Gaelic language is rooted in important wild land areas of Scotland through place-names and the natural environment. As guardians of wild land, the John Muir Trust plays a part in celebrating the Gaelic language wherever possible.
‘Having the Trust's educational initiative, the John Muir Award, available to Gaelic learners helps recognise the legacy of Scotland's indigenous language and its connection with wild land and wild places.’
Bòrd na Gàidhlig Ceannard (CEO) John Angus MacKay said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig are pleased to have supported Keep Scotland Beautiful and The John Muir Award in making these worthwhile materials available in the Gaelic language and would encourage others to follow their example.”