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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;

LLANGEITHO

On November 14th I visited Llangeitho parish. There was a Church of England schoolroom in course of erection in the parish, but it was not expected to be finished so as to be fit to open a school in it before June or July next; it was built on the glebe land, near the church, partly at the expense of the National Society, and partly by subscriptions raised by the clergyman of the parish, who has been promised two-third. towards building it by the Committee of Council for Education. In passing through the parish I met two boys, both of whom said they were 12 years of age. I asked them a few questions, to which I had the following answers :-

Adam was the first man; he and Eve his wife were placed in the garden of Eden, but were soon cast out for eating the forbidden fruit; had never heard by what name that tree was called of which the fruit was forbidden them; they had only two children, viz. Cain and Abel, who were both good men. Had heard of the Prophets, but did not know their office or the names of any of them. Christ was the son of Joseph and the Virgin Mary; wrought miracles; did not know what a miracle meant. Christ was betrayed by Judas, and died on the cross; did not know for what purpose Christ died. There were twelve Apostles; did not know their names, or by whom they were appointed. There were four quarters of the globe; did not know their names. Knew the parish, but not the county or country in which they lived. Ireland was a town beyond the sea. There were twelve hours in a day, and seven days in a week. Did not know how many days, weeks, or months made a year.

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

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