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The Reports of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the state of Education in Wales. 1847

This report was published by three English university scholars into the educational system in Wales. The three were Lingen, Symons and Vaughan Johnson. The report unfairly drew attention to the inadequacy of Welsh education . One of their main points was that Welsh children , and often their teachers too, could not speak English. The report was produced in blue books, hence the name. Apart from , and because of, the understandable outrage of Welsh people the report helped to forge a  greater sense of national identity and the publication was referred to as "The Treachery of the Blue Books" [Brad y Llyfrau Gleison]. One of the principal Welshmen who fought a campaign against the report was Evan Jones , better known as Ieuan Gwynedd, a  minister and a journalist . One of the report's statements was that Welsh was a " peculiar language isolating the masses from the upper portion of society". Sadly, for the Welsh language, faced with such criticism many people did opt for an education in the English language despite the efforts of Ieuan Gwynedd and others. [ Based on an article in"A Helping Hand "by W J Jones 1996]

This is an extract by Aidan Jones from the actual Report as far as it relates to this parish;

  BETTWS BLEDRWS

On November 5th I visited the above place.  I found that there was no school of any kind in the whole parish, either day or Sunday school. There was a very convenient schoolroom, a very substantial building, and well fitted with school apparatus. The school was expected to be re-opened on the following Monday. There was a grant of 20 l. per annum made to this school by Mrs. Jones, of Derry Ormand; but this grant has been withdrawn, and the school is held now as a mere adventure school.

On my way through the parish, I met two little boys, about ten and twelve. I questioned them, and got the following answers.  Did not know where Christ was born. Had never heard of the Apostles. Did not know the name of any one of them, nor the number. Did not know who Christ's mother was. Knew the parish and county in which they lived. The Queen lived in London. Had heard of Ireland. The Queen reigned over the country

 (Signed) D B PRICE, Assistant.

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