By Andy Hamilton (@AndyHamilton89)
Carrick MSP Adam Ingram is to start an initiative to promote the Scots language, and has also defended school children speaking Scots in class, criticizing teachers who discourage it in favour of English.
Adam wants to promote the Scots language through cultural events and boost tourism, saying: “In this part of the world, Burns country, the Scots language is still alive and well.”
The SNP member and former Minister for Children and Early Years in the Scottish Government also said: “School children who speak in the Scots tongue can get slapped down and feel intimidated a bit by speaking English, which I think damages there confidence a wee bit. So we need to actually build it up into something to be valued, as opposed to something to be decried.”
“I think it’s important that we actually celebrate these things and hold them up rather than sort of hide them away and discard them.
“I do find the Scots language a bit more evocative as well. So I feel at home with it and I think a lot of people do, as I say it needs to be encouraged a wee bit more.
“It was basically you got a clip round the ear in the class room if you came out with a Scots word, rather than an English equivalent.
Although asked if Scots should be given as much government support as Gaelic, he said: “I think Gaelic needs more effort and resource going into it, otherwise it will die. I certainly think there is room for improvement in terms of support of Scots language.
“Im trying to get a little initiative going in this constituency, a combination of cultural and tourism aspects to it and that is to promote the Scots language.
We’ve got quite a lot of poets and other people active in the local community at a number of festivals…in some of the wee towns and villages.
“What I want to try and do is link all of them and introduce some sort of Scots language educational element too in Schools. Some schools are starting to appoint Scottish Studies coordinators. Hopefully that will give these children an extra leg up when it comes to taking advantage of the educational opportunities that come there way.
Adam has also written in the Carrick Gazette that: “I think it would be foolish not to recognize the huge contribution Burns country could make to the 2014 [Homecoming] celebrations. I put it to the Cabinet Secretary that the Robert Burns Birthplace museum could be used as a hub for Scots cultural initiatives of which she agreed. We now need the combined efforts of the National Trust for Scotland, South Ayrshire Council and Creative Scotland to see this realized.