Protests continue over cuts to Sask. language schools

A group of people protesting the provincial government's cuts to language schools was at the provincial Legislature on Monday.

Education Minister says parents can pick up the extra cost

People who support heritage language classes were at the Legislature on Monday to protest the government's decision to cut $225,000 their schools. (Joshua Vogt/CBC)

A group of people protesting the provincial government's cuts to language schools was at the provincial Legislature on Monday.

They are continuing to lobby the education minister to reinstate the $225,000 grant he cut in March.

Among those present to hear the Opposition raise their concerns was MdJashim Uddin, originally from Bangladesh.

He says when he realized his daughters, who came to Canada when they were young, were losing their language, he enrolled them in language school.

MdJashim Uddin says his daughters can now speak and write Bangla, something which helps to preserve their culture. (Joshua Vogt/CBC)

He says it was especially important to him, given the history of Bangladesh and its fight to speak its own language.

"I came to the languages school and I feel free. Now they can speak Bangla, they can write Bangla. So I support these languages school for them to continue their work," Uddin said.

He criticized the government for telling parents they should pay for the language classes themselves. 

Uddin says in a multicultural country like Canada, preserving culture is everyone's business.

"Because heritage is a continuous process — thousands and thousands and thousands, hundreds and hundreds of years. You discontinue it one or two years, or three years, then it will die," Uddin said.

Education Minister Don Morgan reiterated his position that this was a decision made because of fiscal restraint. 

However, he says it is a fairly small amount per student, which he hopes their parents will pick up.

The heritage language program funding amounts to $4.58 per student each month, or $55 per year, according to the Ministry of Education.