The French national education system has again launched an attack on so-called “regional” languages. Maths exam papers submitted in Breton by fiteen students will not be corrected, despite an online petition of 15,000 signatories in support.
Instructions on the papers were clear – that only examination papers completed in French would be corrected, despite the availibility of Breton-speaking examiners. This situation takes a step backwards to a period that many thought was over.
As a response, around 250 Basque and Breton elementary students decided to take their sciences exam in their respective languages. However, these exam papers will also go uncorrected, even thought last year some Basque students had their science exams corrected having completed them in Basque.
In face of this situation, the European Free Alliance Youth and its member organisation UDB Yaouank totally support the students that have put their educational future at risk to defend their linguistic rights. This sad situation represents another attack of the French state against the teaching of “regional” languages and reveals the Jacobinist nature of government institutions.
Allowing students to only pass the history-geography exam in Breton (a secondary subject in the eyes of the “sacrosanct” National Education) relagates Breton as a folkloric language, like Latin is nowadays. The inexistent support of the state to the Diwan schools or the constant denials of recognition of Breton as a co-official language, shows the desire of the French Republic to extinguish the Breton language.
Our languages risk to disappear in the short term. It’s not that their time has come, but rather, they fall victims of a Jacobinist order that controls the power in a centralist state that promotes a Franco-Parisian hegemony. This power perceives every attempt of pluralism and difference as a direct attack to their eternal and indivisible republic, rather than a sign of cultural richness.
That’s why we defend the public recognition of Diwan schools to ensure the continuity of the Breton language through its total use in the education system. Thus, we defend the co-officiality of these “regional” languages in the areas where they are spoken. We insist that being able to fully live in Breton, Occitan, Basque, Corsican and Alsatian would not represent a threat to French language but the creation of a situation of equality among the different languages. This situation would not represent a threat to the Article 2 of the French Constitution “The language of France is French”.
Not a long ago, Emmanuel Macron defended in Qumper a new “Girondin deal” with the regions, assuring the use of “regional languages” in school… Promises only to engage those who believe them.