Kontseilua urges governments to establish specific aims and deadlines

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Thu Dec 15 14:26:47 UTC 2005

>>From www.berria.info

Kontseilua urges governments to establish specific aims and deadlines

It has put forward the main guidelines that need to be followed to bring
about the normalisation of the Basque language

Asier Iturriagaetxebarria  BILBO (Bilbao)

Kontseilua, the Council of Social Organisations in Favour of the Basque
language, yesterday presented a report aimed at guiding the Basque
language normalisation process. It includes ten main language policy
guidelines that will need to be implemented over the next four years.
Kontseiluas general secretary Xabier Mendiguren explained that these
guidelines would need to be applied in order to bring about the
normalisation of the language. He added, however, that specific aims and
deadlines would have to be added. Otherwise all that has been achieved so
far will not be of any use to normalise our Basque language, and the aims
will be postponed sine die.

He summarised what language policy should be like over the coming years
thus: One which will have specific deadlines and aims, be given the
necessary resources, include all departments, be designed in such a way as
to reach all sectors of society, it should start from the general
administration and permeate right down to local administrations, it will
aim to guarantee linguistic rights, be applicable throughout the Basque
Country and have an overall perspective.

Iaki Lasa, responsible for Kontseiluas politico-institutional line,
complained about the administrations failure to take effective measures.
Very often Basque speakers are blamed for failing to use the Basque
language, but this is unfair, because Basque speakers will not have the
chance to use their language if the necessary measures and resources are
not in place.

The report comprises ten proposals: 1) To go beyond the Linguistic models
in education to ensure that students are proficient in Basque when they
finish their compulsory secondary education. 2) To create a deputy
vice-presidency for Basque in the BAC Government. 3) To make the
administration Basque-speaking. 4) To make the workplace Basque-speaking.
5) To have laws in favour of the Basque language passed. 6) To expand the
teaching of Basque to adults. 7) To establish quotas for the media in
accordance with sociolinguistic development. 8) To increase the budget for
Basque. 9) To make university education and vocational training
Basque-speaking. 10) To draw up an adequate language policy that
establishes aims and deadlines and includes all sectors.


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