Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting SB NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Lye community leader hits out over funding cuts to foreign language courses
12:00pm Tuesday 1st October 2013 in News
A LYE community leader has hit out over funding cuts to foreign language courses for children whose parents do not speak English.
For many years the government has funded courses in languages such as Urdu, Arabic, Chinese, Gujurati, Hindi and Greek for youngsters wishing to learn or study academically the mother tongue of their non-English speaking parents.
But new government funding cuts mean Dudley’s schools’ forum can no longer afford to offer the community language classes - which cost around £60,000 a year to run.
Councillor Tim Crumpton, the borough’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This isn’t being done on a whim.”
But former Lye councillor and chairman of Lye Community Centre Abdul Qadus said: “A large number of people are absolutely disappointed about this.
“My main concern is that there has been no consultation with parents. These classes have been going for more than 20 years.”
Around 26 part-time teachers are believed to be affected by the cut which will take effect from December 31.
Among those affected is Sameen Irfan, who teaches classes at Wollescote Primary School - who said: “We just think it’s really unfair on the students and the teachers.”
But cllr Crumpton said: “None are full-time workers and this was not their complete source of income.”
He said some affected teachers may be able to start offering courses privately in the community and he suggested communities get together to try and finance the lessons themselves.
He said: “It’s something that’s run its course. The government no longer want to fund it – there’s no way we can fund it as a local authority. If parents want kids to learn by all means they can but these courses are extras and schools can no longer afford to fund them.
“It costs around £60,000 a year to run them which equates to about £120 a year per child which is a sum communities may be able to absorb.”
He said around 500 borough youngsters at 13 of the borough’s schools would be affected by the decision but he said those due to take GCSEs in 2014 would be able to continue their studies until the courses end next June.
Mr Qadus believes more should have been done to discuss the situation with parents and the community and he’s started a petition - which people can sign at Lye Community Centre, Lye’s Ghausia Mosque and Lye’s Jamia Islamic Anwarul Quran Education Centre.
Comments are closed on this article.