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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;

RHOSTIE.

On December 29th I visited the above parish, in which I found no day school whatever.

I therefore endeavoured to find a few children in the parish to be examined, and having gone through greater part of the parish I managed to get five of them together; they were all boys, ages from 10 to 16. Three of them were in a day school in the adjoining parish (Llanilar). Two of them professed to be able to read ; they read a few verses in the 1st chapter of the Gospel by St. John in a most miserable manner, falsely pronouncing by far the largest half of the words ; they could neither spell nor give the meaning of the most simple words; e. g., father, darkness, Lord, world, mother, God, &c. They could answer no questions whatever given them out of the Old Testament. The following are their answers to other. questions:-Christ was born at Bethlehem , was the son of Mary ; did not know what Mary. The reputed father of Christ, or the husband of Mary, was Moses. Joseph was a king. Did not know who denied or betrayed Christ.. Christ was crucified, which means to nail hand and foot to a great stick. Did not know where, by whom, or whether there was any body crucified at the same time. Christ was buried. Rose in three days. Did not. know what became of him afterwards. They lived in England. London was in Wales. Did not know what the inhabitants of England or Wales were called. Six days in a week. Four weeks in a month. Did not know the number of days, weeks, or months in a year. The sun turns round the world. Had heard of the Queen. Did not know her name, or where she lived.

(Signed) D. B. PRICE, Assistant.

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(Gareth Hicks)

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