Breton, Occitan, Basque, Catalan, Poitevin Saintongeais, Creole… According to a Unesco census, they are among the languages “threatened with extinction”. In France, their representatives decided to make themselves heard and, in autumn 2019, created the collective “So that our languages live”, when the Blanquer law came into force.
“One year after the implementation of the reform, the process of erasing our languages is therefore indeed there”, regrets the collective. Its members note that students are now forced to choose between the regional language stream and other streams such as other modern languages or math, “Whereas the teaching of dead languages can be chosen without any competition”.
“We are therefore asking for the equal status of regional languages and languages of antiquity in high school and in the bac”, says Tangi Louarn, coordination of cultural associations in Brittany Kevre Breizh.
School package: “Municipalities do not play the game”
They also ask “Strong support for immersive teaching” : in the Basque Country, the opening of an immersive class in the Basque language in public schools was recently refused by the rectorate. The collective also calls for the generalization of initiation to Breton to all students. “It is one of the components of transmission, which makes it possible to gain new speakers”, underlines Solange Creignou. However, this request, made by Finistère with the support of the Region, is “Remained a dead letter” to the ministry.
Finally, the collective insists on the generalization of the school package, this system allowing Diwan schools to receive funding from the town halls of the municipalities of origin of the children attending school. An essential source of income for this network of associative schools, which suffered from the end of the assisted contracts.
However, the package is not compulsory and it is thus 140 municipalities that “Don’t play the game”, according to Stéphanie Stoll, president of Diwan. Or a loss of earnings estimated at € 900,000! An amount which is nevertheless essential “To perpetuate all non-teaching jobs, which we totally need”.