Sardinia's parties strike deal to introduce Sardinian language teaching in schools

Bill agreed to give a place to Sardinian starting from 2015-16 schoolyear · Parents will still need to state they want their children to be taught the language · Bill says nothing on Catalan, other languages in the island

All the political groups in the Sardinian Regional Council reached an agreement to introduce the teaching of the Sardinian language in the island's schools later this year. Learning Sardinian will be possible from kindergarten to secondary school, but only if parents specifically request it. This is, however, a step forward for the language, given that up till now not even that option was available.

The agreement involves a series of amendments to a 1997 Sardinian law which foresaw non-curriculum-related teaching of Sardinian. The agreed amendment, which should be adopted in the coming weeks, means that Sardinian will be introduced both as a curricular subject and as a medium of teaching other, non-linguistic subjects.

The amendment will come into force starting from the 2015-16 school year in kindergarten and primary school, and 2016-17 in secondary school.

But parents will still need to state, in a written enrolment form, that they want their children to be taught Sardinian.The law does not specify how many parental requests are needed in each single school for Sardinian to be used.

An additional 3 million euro for Sardinian teaching

The Regional Council will allocate an additional 3 million euros over the next three years for Sardinian in schools.

The law amendment also foresees that agreements will me made with universities to train Sardinian language teachers.

However, the law only mentions the introduction of Sardinian in schools, while it does not mention any of the other traditionally spoken languages in Sardinia. Among these are Catalan in Alghero, Ligurian in Carloforte, and Gallurese and Sassarese in the north. This, despite the fact that the 1997 law quoted them as worthy of protection from the Sardinian authorities.

(Image: linguistic map of Sardinia / map by Dirk Cherchi.)