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Help and advice for Reports of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the state of Education in Wales. 1847

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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;


Day School.

On November 5th I visited the above school. The school was held in the vicarage-house, which is occupied by two young women, the Vicar being non-resident. The room in which the school was held was a small room, 12ft. square. The furniture consisted of two chests of drawers, two tables, two benches, and two chairs. The floor was made of lime and sand. There was a very convenient fire-place in the room.

The children were not assembled on that day on account of there being a service in Cellan church. which the mistress attended. On my way through the parish I met some children, whom I questioned. They had heard of God. He was in heaven. He had a son. His name was Jesus Christ. Did not know what sort of a place heaven was. Did not know for what purpose Christ came on earth. Had heard of the Apostles. Did not know who they were. Cardiganshire was the name of the county in which they lived. Did not know the name of the adjoining county.

This and a Sunday school were the only ones in the parish.

(Signed) D. B. PRICE, Assistant [1846]

(Gareth Hicks)