By Gareth Elwyn Jones
An exam of the connection among the crucial authority for schooling and the academic calls for of the folk of Wales. It argues that contemporary and present executive regulations are as dismissive of Welsh priorities as these which long ago provoked the "Welsh revolt".
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Extra resources for The Education of a Nation
The pamphlet was written by Dr. James Kay, later Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth. 7 The catalogue of inadequacies in Wales embraced all aspects of the schools and ascribed blame to many sources. At the heart of the problem was a dire shortage of funds. We have already seen that the social structure of Wales, its lack of any substantial middling class, was a structural problem. The commissioners were highly critical of the gentry and the clergy whose role in financing schools in England was central. In large tracts of rural south Wales, said Lingen, the gentry were neither resident nor did they subscribe to the education of the poor.
R. W. Lingen realized full well, economic change had seen age-old patterns modified irrevocably. The works were to industrial Glamorgan as the manor to the parish, ruminated Lingen. The works school must now be the parish school. The implication was clear. '8 For the moment, the 1847 Report revealed Glamorgan schools in which low-status, untrained teachers provided a most rudimentary education with the aid of wholly inadequate equipment in the midst of interdenominational wrangling, lack of patronage from the wealthy, and profound social change.
He associated the physical degradation which he encountered in Monmouthshire directly with social unrest. The followers of John Frost were associated, by inference, with 'evil in every shape', but that evil was not Chartism as such, it was the demoralization and brutalization to which the population had been subjected. In the rural areas Symons had to look for other explanations for such social unrest as the Rebecca riots. It was at this point that he made the direct link between lack of education interacting with the volatility of the Welsh character to produce such aberrations as Rebecca.
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