Welsh Medium Schools – Evening Post Column 5.6.15

Ignatius of Loyola, the sixteenth century founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) took no prisoners when it came to the imposition of the Catholic faith across Europe. He said,

“Give me the child and I will mould the man.”

And be in no doubt, that this same uncompromising diktat is precisely what is going on in Wales right now.

On 3rd June BBC Wales broadcast a programme titled ‘Make Me Welsh’(and for once it wasn’t kidding!), about the compulsory Welsh medium primary schools in Gwynedd – there are no English medium schools.

Here are some of the choicer quotes:

A teacher, “We need to change their habits.” Hold on, are we talking about juvenile delinquents here?

A parent, “The teacher said I have to speak Welsh all the time.”

Forgive me, but if all this isn’t about coercion and compulsion then I’m a pat of laverbread and if anyone out there tries to claim that compulsion is not the name of the Welsh language game, then do tell me how it can be otherwise when there is no choice? But here’s the thing and the latest evidence is clear, the education of children from homes that are non-Welsh speaking, suffers at Welsh medium schools and remember this is the vast majority of homes in Wales.

In England and Scotland foreign language tuition has become compulsory at primary school level. In Wales, the Welsh language is compulsory and no other.

In an international world of integrated economics, finance and business, what use is the Welsh language beyond the Severn Bridge tolls? More to the point, what use is it to youthful flair, ambition and a desire to get a good job in a modern global world – unless of course, a Welsh youngster wishes to work for the rest of his/her life in a Welsh public sector?

Ceri James, the former director of the National Centre for Languages Wales (part of the WJEC) and whom I have interviewed in the past, was made redundant along with a load of other severe funding cuts at CILT. His own research concluded that a mere 22% of Welsh schoolchildren are learning a foreign language and this is even less in some areas, at 11%.

Mr James’ departure is a regrettable loss for foreign language learning in Welsh schools, but then as we all know, the Welsh language must come first in all things, as must its accumulative billions of pounds of taxpayer funding:

Heaven forbid that this should ever be cut?

I left messages with two CILT officials to discuss the above, but I cannot even report that ‘no-one was available’ – I didn’t get a response full stop, but then Welsh institutions usually dive for cover when some serious, unpalatable scrutiny is in the air and I do apparently have a bit of a reputation for being a journalistic lout but what the hell.

Before going any further, Post readers should note that Welsh medium schools being superior to their English medium counterparts is a fantasy; all Welsh schools are letting down our children in a big way, as clearly evidenced by the Estyn and Pisa reports: Wales ranks 43rd out of 65 developed countries when it comes to numeracy and literacy.

Conclusions:

The ambitions and careers of Welsh school children are being seriously disadvantaged in order to satisfy the whims of a minority, politically motivated Welshification agenda.

What is now going on in Wales in respect of Welsh education, is nothing less than a profound assault on democratic principle and parental choice.

Preservation of the language through free-will and consent?

I think not.

JR

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8 thoughts on “Welsh Medium Schools – Evening Post Column 5.6.15

  1. We need someone in the Welsh Assembly to to stand up for the majority in Wales and demand a referendum on having the cymraeg language foisted upon us. There is no mandate from the people of Wales, the language act was foisted upon us by the war criminal Blair.

    When Welsh Labour appointed a Welsh Language Commissioner, what happened to the appointment of an English Language Commissioner?

    Scotland have rejected Labour.England have rejected Labour. Wales?…….

    Maybe the people of Wales can’t even see the abuse that is inflicted upon them?

  2. Propaganda in China during the Cultural Revolution took on many forms; there were mass Red Guard demonstrations in Tianamen Square in support of Mao Zedong, pictures of Mao were put up in every conceivable location from restaurants to the wallpaper in nurseries, and pamphlets and books of Mao’s teachings were distributed to every Chinese citizen. One of these propaganda publications Quotations from Chairman Mao which later became known as the Little Red Book contained quotes from Mao Zedong and was distributed to every Chinese citizen. The history of the Red Book provides one of the best ways in which to analyze Chinese propaganda during the Cultural Revolution and see the ways in which the Chinese government was able to produce and effectively indoctrinate the Chinese people with Mao Zedong Thought.

    Welsh Labour and Chairman Jones have other ways to indoctrinate the people of Wales……….

  3. The BBC programme mentioned is chilling, if you are concerned about my grandchildren’s future, as I am. There is no concern from the evangelists regarding the fact that families that don’t speak welsh can not help their children in ANY subject except English throughout their WHOLE education (unless they go to the ONLY truly BI-Lingual secondary school in Gwynedd) as ALL schools are now Welsh Medium!!! There is NO DOUBT (IMHO) that learning Welsh as your main language impacts on the child’s facility with English as the grammar and spelling is an almost inversion of English. The Welsh language enthusiasts cite the high flyers who go on to university to get degrees in modern languages but NOT the effect on the education of the vast majority, who by definition are NOT high flyers, studying Maths and Physics in Welsh is not what the Dutch do!!!

    • Thank you for your comment Joe.

      Your fears are not fanciful, indeed I would have to argue that yours is the voice of the concerned English speaking majority in Wales.

      Having said this, until the majority start speaking more loudly than the minority, then Wales will continue to be ruled by a ‘Crachach’ Welsh speaking elite.

      Wales will carry on going backwards and our young will continue to be disadvantaged.

      JR

  4. You should have put your conclusions at the start if the article because they clearly informed what you wrote. The piece is full of misleading statemements designed to support your own opinion, but sadly they do not. It’s full of hyperbole (billions? Really?) and conspiracy (Crachach stole my country). The fact that all Welsh schools are struggling has nothing to do with the Welsh language, you just want it to be so. You present no evidence for your statements and you don’t compare like with like. I’m sorry that you don’t see the value of supporting an important part of our heritage and culture. I’m sorry that you can’t understand that a significant part of the population wants to be able to live their lives in the native tongue. I’m sorry that many who don’t speak it are learning. But most of all I’m sorry you never got a chance to learn the language, as if would have enriched your life, given you a greater understanding of your own country and probably made you a better journalist.

    • To Gareth,

      S4C alone has received £2.2bn since 1982 (and this is their own figure) in taxpayer funding, not to mention BBC Wales, bi-lingual official paperwork, road signs etc, translators, Welsh arts……

      The figures are all on the public record, work it out for yourself.

      No evidence?

      How long have you got?

      Oh and do please refrain from feeling sorry for my being a non-Welsh speaker. Like the 82% of the English first language, speaking majority in Wales I am more than happy in this wonderfully cosmopolitan condition, I really can’t imagine why?!

      Having said this, like it or not Gareth, your language is in decline and dying (Census 2011 to name but one evidential fact) in spite of all the taxpayers’ money that has been thrown at it over the years. In spite of the coercive Statute Book, in spite of all the Welsh medium schools, in spite of all the Welsh language media platforms, in spite of…in spite of…..in spite of…..

      JR

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