Published Wednesday, 25 July 2012
The strategy proposes Ulster Scots to be taught at GCSE and A Level. (© Getty)
DCAL has prepared a consultative document containing proposals for a strategy for Ulster Scots language, heritage and culture. A separate strategy for the Irish language has also been published.
The key aims of the draft strategy are to create a framework to share, support development and promote the language, heritage and culture of Ulster Scots.
It aims to target key areas to carry out these aims, including in education, media, use of language, public services and culture.
The strategy's educational targets for promoting the language include implementing a key stage 4 (GCSE level) and A-Level qualification in Ulster Scots.
It also outlines a diploma and degree level qualification to be created.
Introducing the proposals, Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: "I am very pleased to endorse this draft Strategy for the Ulster Scots language, heritage and culture. As an active Irish learner, I recognise and appreciate the importance of Ulster Scots language, heritage and culture."
"Language, heritage and culture are important to all of us; they give us a sense of place and help us to understand who we are and have confidence in our identity. Surveys have been used to estimate the numbers of people who can speak Ulster Scots as well as indicating support for those who wish to learn and use the language.
"Given our rich cultural mix we need to develop and strengthen the Ulster Scots language, heritage and culture. This Strategy builds on the commitments in the Good Friday Agreement and the St Andrews Agreement."
The draft proposal states there is no official figure for the number of people who speak Ulster Scots, but citing a Life and Times Survey in 1999 - says two per cent of respondents said they spoke the language, which equates to 35,000 people.
An Ulster Scots media training scheme and working with broadcasters to promote Ulster Scots language and culture is also planned.
The consultation period is open until Tuesday 27 November 2012.