Erasmus + Programme

Pupils at Sgoil an Taobh Siar receive their copies of the book - Gael-Òc - which reflects the life, language and culture of the three regions.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Sgoil an Taobh Siar and Comunn na Gàidhlig have been involved in a minority languages (Gaelic; Occitan and Gaelige) Erasmus project with counterparts from France and Ireland, for the last three years and held their dissemination event on 30 August 2017 at Lews Castle College.

Local partners have made friends and forged partnerships in France and Ireland through seminars, study visits and staff and pupil exchanges and the project has allowed partners to compare and exchange different regional teaching approaches as well as the resources developed by the different institutions and associations.

The aim of the project was to develop and replicate good practice which may be inter-changeable in the teaching of any regional language. One of the outcomes of the project has been the publication of a book – Gael-Òc - which reflects the life, language and culture of the regions which respective partners represent. Acair, Comunn na Gàidhlig and staff and pupils at Sgoil an Taobh Siar have been instrumental in bringing this book to fruition.

The dissemination event was held as part of the Lews Castle College’s 'Latha na Gàidhlig'. The purpose of the day was twofold: to raise awareness of the College’s Gaelic courses and degrees while Gaelic agencies were present to inform prospective students, undergraduates and graduates about future employment opportunities in the Gaelic sector.  

There were sixty five in attendance in total. These included forty senior pupils with Gaelic skills from The Nicolson Institute,  seeking information about Gaelic college courses/degrees and employment opportunities using Gaelic skills.  Seven Gaelic organisations were in attendance: Lews Castle College/UHI, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Comunn na Gàidhlig, BBC Radio nan Gàidheal, MacTV, Acair, and Sgoil an Taobh Siar.

The Comhairle gave short presentations on the outcomes of the Erasmus + project, demonstrations of the digital toolkit and fielded questions relating to the project itself and about work opportunities for students with both Gaelic and digital skills. A range of booklets and leaflets about the EU and the Erasmus+ Programme was on display.

Angus Murray, Corporate Policy Manager at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, who led on the project, said: "There have been a number of benefits which have arisen out of this project, not least that some of our young pupils have had the opportunity to sample another language, culture and way of life. It has been a very interesting and worthwhile exercise to compare and contrast how the three regions are approaching the issue of protecting a minority language. We would wish to thank our partners in France and Ireland as well as our local partners, Comunn na Gàidhlig, Acair and Sgoil an Taobh Siar for their valuable contributions to this successful project."