New Grand Bard calls for a Cornish education

Many people are ignorant of Cornwall’s culture and language because schools fail to educate children about their history, according to Barth Meur, the Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh.

Barth Meur – Steren Mor (Maureen Fuller)

In her first major speech in the post, Steren Mor (Maureen Fuller) from her background in education cited several instances of people in positions of “power and influence” being unaware of even the most basic facts about Cornish history.

Calling on teachers and educators to do more to celebrate and promote Cornish distinctiveness, Maureen Fuller said: “There is only one word for this. It’s ignorance, pure unadulterated ignorance.”

On 13 October, 2012 the Gorsedh held a Planning Conference, with the theme – ‘Education, Cornish Culture and a role for the Gorsedd?’

Speaking at this annual conference, held in Lostwithiel, the Grand Bard in her opening address called on delegates to increase their efforts in spreading the Cornish cultural message, adding that schools could play a much greater role.

“Cornish history should be taught in schools,” she said. “Children are thoroughly taught English history but Cornish history is absent from the curriculum of most schools”.

“All children need to know about their heritage and our Cornish children should be taught about the past so they understand why things today are as they are,” she concluded.

Our passion for, and assertion of, a distinctive Cornish culture is celebrated in the proclamation and ceremonies of the Gorsedd, but is this enough? We live in a time of change and change offers both threat to and opportunity for Cornish culture. Education, in adult life as well as childhood, is a powerful vehicle of change. This conference explored ways in which educational opportunities can be realised to encourage and promote Cornish Culture.

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