Posts Tagged ‘Latin’

We’ve blogged before about Ed Balls’ announcement that all school children should be given the chance to learn Mandarin at school. But now it appears that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson also has his own ideas on what the state school curriculum in the UK should be offering kids – the chance to learn Latin!

Boris Johnson is lobbying for Latin to be added to the state school curriculum and was quoted as saying “I firmly believe that we must not starve the minds of students eager to embrace the great intellectual disciplines of Latin……..we cannot possibly understand our modern world unless we understand the ancient world that made us all and there is simply no better way than to make young minds think in a logical and analytical way”.

His comments, as always, have sparked much debate on the subject and so we started a discussion on LinkedIn a few weeks ago to gauge public opinion on the matter, which attracted huge responses. Critics called it typical of Boris and his public school mentality and said that he was simply “grabbing headlines”.  They argued that school children should of course be taught languages at school but what would be beneficial to them would be to learn modern foreign languages that they would, in the future use to further their careers (French, German, Spanish etc). Some also argued that teaching Latin just wasn’t realistic for schools to do – why?  There is simple a lack of Latin teachers.

These arguments are valid, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and there were also plenty of people that agreed with Boris. They argued that encouraging the teaching of any language to children is a good idea – “it opens up your mind to a different culture, a different way of thinking and understanding where we are coming from” all of which are important later in life and in the world of work.

With the election looming and education being a key issue – who knows what will happen – I guess we will just have to wait and see after 6th May!


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