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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;

LLANINA.

I visited to-day the parish of Llanina. There is no day school of any kind in this parish. I visited several cottages to see what families there were which needed education, and I found many who would have been at school if there was one in the neighbourhood; but there is nothing nearer to them than Llanarth, or New Quay. Both of these places are too far in the winter, and this is the season when school is most sought in these country places.

I examined a girl named Mary Thomas, 12 years of age, living at Llaintysimnan; she could read a little, but could not tell me the name of the present month, nor the first or last in the Year. She did not know how many weeks or days in a Year. She went to a Sunday school, and could answer me the simple questions I asked her about Jesus Christ. I examined another girl at some distance from the other; her name was Ann Evan, aged 11 years, living at Carreg-llwyd; she could not read, and seldom went to a Sunday school. She could not tell me how many days in a week, nor months in a year. Knew not the name of the present month, nor how many weeks or days in a year. She could not tell me where Jesus Christ was born, nor who he was; she did not know for what purpose He came into the world. She appeared very ignorant. The only question she answered me was what county she lived in.

December 8th 1846 (Signed) HENRY PENRY, Assistant.

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(Gareth Hicks)

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