Rushanara Ali campaigned for Labour to renew its commitment to the future of Bengali teaching in schools, in response to Government plans to cut Bengali language qualifications from the school curriculum alongside other foreign languages including Guajarati, Punjabi, Turkish and Polish.
“From start to finish, this Government has caused chaos in our education system – and now languages such as Bengali are facing the axe in our schools. These unnecessary cuts will leave our young people less prepared for their future careers, as well as depriving many of the chances to make vital links with their cultural and linguistic heritage. I studied Bengali at my school and it has been a massive asset to me throughout my career.
“Labour will save these important qualifications from being abolished. In the twenty-first century, our young people need more understanding of other cultures, not less. These languages will also help improve our ability strengthen our economic competitiveness and trading opportunities with India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, Poland and others. Languages are extremely important to our communities, and Labour will safeguard them for the future.”