The Welsh language is alive and thriving in Cardiff, the Welsh language Minister, Eluned Morgan will say today while marking the 70th anniversary of Welsh medium education in Wales’ capital city.
The minister, who was one of the first year intake to attend the first Welsh-medium secondary school in Cardiff, will join a group of students and former pupils from Ysgol Bryntaf and Ysgol Gymraeg Caerdydd in the capital city to celebrate 70 years since the introduction of Welsh medium education in the city’s schools.
Since 1981, the number of Welsh speakers in Cardiff has grown from 15,300 to over 36,700 and there are now 17 primary schools and three secondary schools in the city educating 8,500 pupils from all backgrounds through the medium of Welsh.
Celebrations to mark the anniversary are taking place during Tafwyl - an annual week-long festival established by Menter Caerdydd, Cardiff’s Welsh language promotion body, to raise the profile of the Welsh language in the capital.
Tafwyl makes a significant contribution to the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 strategy, which aims to increase the number of Welsh speakers to 1 million by 2050, by providing opportunities for adults, young people and children to experience the Welsh language in the capital with a variety of live music performances, literary sessions and stalls promoting Welsh produce.
Eluned Morgan said:
“The growth in Welsh medium education in Cardiff has undoubtedly contributed to the significant growth in the number of Welsh speakers in our capital city over the years. So it’s a real pleasure for me, as a former student of Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, to be able to join so many to celebrate 70 years of Welsh medium schools in our capital city.
“I want to see the language thrive and flourish even further. That’s why we’ve set out an ambitious plan to grow the number of Welsh speakers to a million by 2050. To achieve that, we need to ensure people of all ages can hear and speak the language naturally and informally in everyday life.
“That’s why events like Tafwyl are so important. Not only do they put the Welsh language at the heart of events across the city for the week, but they also bring significant benefits to the local economy.”
Education Minister, Kirsty Williams added:
“When the first Welsh-medium school, Ysgol Gymraeg Caerdydd, opened it would have been difficult for those first few pupils and teachers to imagine that, 70 years later, there would be 17 primary and 3 Welsh-medium secondary schools in our capital. And that we’d be on our way to a national target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
“From Ysgol Gymraeg Caerdydd to the newly opened Ysgol Hamadryad, it’s wonderful to see how Welsh language education has grown in Cardiff. Ensuring that more of our young people are bilingual, with all the skills and advantages that brings, is core to an education system that truly combines equity and excellence.”