Posts Tagged ‘ Education ’

A brief note on BiLingo

We were going to let this one slide, given that BiLingo appears to be a coughed up left over of gogwatch, and we’ve largely done that one to death already. However BiLingo have managed to garner much more attention than their parent site gogwatch ever did, so perhaps some attention is warranted. Plenty of other Welsh political bloggers have covered the details of this story already, but to summarise, BiLingo appeared as a front for alleged concerns from parents in Ceredigion. Accusations were made which essentially suggested that child abuse was rife in the region, as punishment for not speaking the Welsh language. This was quickly jumped upon and promoted by the Telegraph and Mail. As the story developed though, the allegations suddenly vanished from the website – perhaps the owner of BiLingo got more than ‘he’ bargained for with the coverage, and suddenly considered the legal implications of what many presume to be the unfounded allegations of a single individual. Regardless of the legitimacy of the comments, they were made, heard, and now a temporary hoohah has broken out regarding the Welsh language.

Now, it’s somewhat difficult to be specifically critical of the BiLingo website, simply by virtue of the fact that it’s owner seems to be redesigning it on an hourly basis, as the legal ramifications of their accusations appears to dawn on them. But the current (as of Friday afternoon) webpage argues that for BiLingo, ‘the main issue seems to be the lack of choice’. This certainly has echoes with the old gogwatch pages, after all, they never wanted to get rid of Welsh did they…no, of course not, what they advocated was choice. Maybe a cursory glance at the BiLingo twitter feed will enlighten us further.

Excellent to see so much coverage of our website today. Join us on our glorious march out of the dark ages – we say ONE world ONE language.

This is the very first tweet from the BiLingo feed. One language they call for…one language. So BiLingo, your concept of choice actually boils down to offering no choice at all, how very gogwatch of you.

We’re standing on the shoulders of giants @gogwatch

This would seem to indicate that whether BiLingo claims to be connected to gogwatch or not, they certainly see themselves as being in similar company. 

Bilingo – a campaign for language human rights and justice for the silenced

and yet, lines like this, that espouse the merits of human rights, are simply direct echoes of that which gogwatch relied upon as a central theme to their complaints. Not gogwatch, but something that sounds exactly like it. 

Welsh is a wonderful language, but why should we use it to punish children? Their only young once #cymru

While BiLingo makes the odd brief concession to the Welsh language, they still see it’s presence in an educational setting as a punishment in it’s own right.

@mark4ceredigion will you join our campaign? We want representation at Westminster to stop the pro welsh madness

But then, BiLingo still fall back on the fact that what underpins Welsh language in education, is madness – again, how inclusive of them… 
It’s just a snap shot of the usual vitriol that comes out of this community, a campaign to eradicate the Welsh language dressed up as an attempt to create ‘fairness’. Yet, as with gogwatch before it, the only sense of ‘equality’ that will be enjoyed by such campaigns will be only for English speakers, and the paranoid anti Welsh minority. May they enjoy their moment in the limelight, it won’t last long – and for their sake, they had better hope that they have something substantial to back up their claims, we can imagine there are many in the teaching community in Ceredigion who are lining up all sorts of law suits against this little site.

The University of Shame: But Blame Where It Is Due

 The University of Wales seems to be rumbling from one disaster to another these days. As Ciaran Jenkins continues what now is amounting to a one man war against the institution, he will this evening reveal on BBC Wales’ Week in Week Out, what has largely been revealed through plenty of other mediums, that, in short, the running of the University of Wales is rotten. First we had the bizarre Malaysian fake degree fiasco, then the desperate and repeated attempts to merge with anyone and everyone as the institution prostituted itself to all who would have her (takers were low given the savagely infected state of the product), and now we have the revelation that affiliates of the Institution have been selling off degrees to any old foreign national with a desire for a permit, and the cash to spare – put simply, it is raining shit on the University of Wales.

However, while there will be plenty of hand wringing inside the institution, and no shortage of finger pointing from those outside as the hurried ranks of vice chancellors and pit bull AMs line-up to add their tinder to the bonfire and hoist the broken frame of the syphilitic University onto its funary pyre, it is worth taking a moment to ask where the blame should be placed. In the coming days, as they have done over the past few years, it is the staff, the teaching staff that is, and the students who will bear the brunt of the indignity and shame brought upon the body. Who wants to stand up and say that they work for the University of Wales today? Who wants to wave their degree award from the University of Wales proudly in the air, when across the road a man with grasp of neither the English or Welsh language, pushing a homemade falafel stand down the high street, waves his degree right back at them?

The students are not the perpetrators of this succession of institutional humiliations, the teaching staff, continuing their endeavours to educate in the face of annual cutbacks to staff and research budgets, are not responsible for other affiliates passing on empty degrees to the highest bidder. The finger of blame should dig deep into the heart of the University of Wales, until it jabs at the spleen of those in the tiers of management who have seen this course of action grow and fester and rot at the guts of the establishment, it is those suited individuals who cared about the cream, cut off of the top of the cup of fiscal deviancy, that has transformed what was once, a long time ago, a beacon of educational aspiration in Wales, into an intestinally crippled, diarrhoea ridden goblin, lurking under a bridge and clawing at the coat tales of any institution not yet stained by its rot.

Find who is responsible – punish them, cleanse with fire if need be those who have torn down the foundations of this institution, and build it a new from inside out, but see that the blame is placed where it is deserved. Many good honest hard working staff and students will be punished because of this, and the blame is not theirs to carry.