Monday, 29 April 2013

Do the Math

"The poor level of attainment in mathematics in Ireland clearly originates in the compulsory nature of its teaching. Generation after generation of Irish schoolchildren have seen their budding pleasure in the subject wither prematurely owing to a failed and ideologically driven statist policy of asking them to learn to count. It should by now be obvious to all that the surest route to bringing about a renaissance of numeracy among the population of the state is a policy of inaction, desuetude and laissez-faire. Educationalists agree that students will be just as capable of picking up algebra and calculus when raising families and holding down full-time jobs (none of which, as is well known, ever has anything to do with maths). Not only that: making the study of maths voluntary would free millions of euro of resources that are highly unlikely ever to be spent on teaching children something else instead."

One could go on. The above is clearly a load of nonsense. That's because the Blether Region just made it up.

And yet there are those who employ the same arguments, drawing on the same non sequiturs, with regard to Irish.

Earlier today the album Rí-Rá le Hector 2013 popped through the Blether household's letterbox, a whole album of songs produced through the simple expedient of providing a translation to artists who had gained a grounding in the language at school. Now try doing that one in Scotland, where Gaelic is not compulsory — and, indeed, hardly offered — and see what happens.

One might even say, "Do the math."

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