Monday, September 16, 2013

On The Tip Of The Tongue

The first language of children in North Wales would most likely be English or Welsh, right?
Imagine the surprise when Young Boyo skipped home from school with a form asking parents to tick the dialect that applied to them from a list of more than 80.
Conwy: anyone for Kannada?
Remarkably, the local authority in Conwy (where 96% of the population is white) has trimmed the list from one supplied by the Welsh govt., which contained around 300 different languages and races!
The baffling list included obscure languages spoken in the boondocks of the world, including Igbo (from SE Nigeria), Tagalog (spoken by a quarter of Filipinos), Kannada (mother tongue of people living in the Indian state of Kannartaka) and Wolof (a dialect spoken in Senegal, Gambia and Mauritius).
It came with an equally confusing form asking parents to detail their child's ethnicity, which included seven categories for gypsies alone, plus around 85 other nationalities and races.
The 'data collection' documents were issued by schools in Conwy County Borough Council: it says the information is needed to help provide a better education service.
Annoyed parents are complaining the council has gone completely over-the-top, in Political Correctness and not wishing to offend anyone whatsoever! Conwy Council defends itself by passing the buck, saying it's a statutory requirement of the Welsh govt.
So too - it seems - is a total lack of initiative and street-savvy!

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