The learning and examination of Gujarati in the UK has come under pressure from government cuts and increasing rents. The first language of Prime Minister Modi provides a crucial link between the UK and India and needs to be saved.
Will you join me and sign this open letter to Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, calling on the teaching and examination of Gujarati to be protected in the UK. #SaveGujarati
Dear Nicky Morgan,
We are writing to encourage you to take urgent steps to save the teaching of Gujarati in England.
Gujarati is an important community language in the UK. Internationally it is spoken by 65million people, with the majority living in India, and so is an important form of communication for UK-India trade and other relationships. It was the first language of Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and is the first language of India’s current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
As you will be aware, the number of students being entered for GCSE Gujarati has dropped by 20% since 2010.
There is considerable uncertainty as to whether the only exam board (Oxford, Cambridge & RSA) who offer GCSE and A Level exams in Gujarati will continue to do so after September 2018. We urge you to ensure that OCR agrees to continue to do so for a minimum of ten years.
Given that most - but not all - Gujarati teaching is organised by local community groups and offered at weekend schools, we are concerned that government cutbacks are forcing up the rents charged to community groups for teaching space. This is in turn leading to higher fees and/or a reduction in the time available for Gujarati teaching in weekend supplementary schools.
Lastly we urge you to offer financial support to encourage ongoing professional development of Gujarati teachers, similar to the sort that is available to all teachers in mainstream state schools.
We thank you for your attention.
Gareth Thomas MP