"The Nineteenth century saw a great Springtime of Nations as the revolutions of 1848 saw new countries created the length and breadth of Europe. In our world today we are now seeing our own Spring Awakening with people and cultures that have long been dormant and subdued asserting their right to exist, their right to dream." Adam Price MP
WITH only a week to go, Plaid Cymru candidates and activists are out campaigning hard, knocking on doors and delivering leaflets. We’re going into this election as the only party in Wales with a real, positive vision for the future of Wales.
Plaid has been in government in Wales for four years. We’ve had some great successes: the Plaid-driven Foundation Phase, Learning Pathways and the Welsh Baccalaureate.
We’ve invested millions in community-focused schools as well as small and rural schools; reduced class sizes across Wales and launched the pilot Laptop for Every Child scheme in every single local authority in Wales – all pledged in 2007, and all delivered within one Assembly term.
But Plaid knows we need to do more. Many of our children lack the basic reading, writing and counting skills essential for the modern world. Standards are slipping. Our national performance in worldwide tests is dropping. Things need to change.
It is time to focus on ensuring that our young people leave school motivated and ready for the world of work. Plaid Cymru will make improving the basic skills of our children in reading, writing, counting and computer skills our number one priority.
Our aim is to halve illiteracy and innumeracy rates for children leaving primary school in Wales by 2015 and virtually eliminate the problem by 2020, by ensuring that at least 95% of all children leave primary school functionally literate and numerate to the standards expected of an 11-year-old.
Good teaching and improved teaching standards will be vital to the success of Wales’ literacy and numeracy drive. Tracking children’s progress throughout their education is simply not good enough: we must intervene at an early stage to give every child the best possible opportunities.
In addition to providing extra investment in classroom-based training and mentoring, we will also give teachers more freedom to innovate and inspire.
Another vital priority for Plaid will be responding to the demand for the provision of Welsh-medium education by increasing the number of children who are taught through the medium of Welsh and exceeding the targets in the Welsh-medium Education Strategy.
We have no choice – getting this right will be a make-or-break moment for our economy, our children’s life skills and the eradication of poverty in Wales.
We need to stop rewarding Labour’s failure over the past 12 years.
This is our chance to make a better Wales.
With new lawmaking powers for the National Assembly, now it is the politicians who must deliver on their promises. With our new powers, we must ensure that Wales becomes the country we know it can be.
By voting Yes in March this year, the people of Wales showed their ambition. We must help them to achieve that ambition – and crucially, we know that the most important thing that we can do over the coming 10 years will be to transform our education system here in Wales. Only Plaid has the ideas, the drive and the courage to make a real difference to the lives of people in Wales.
Speaking on the Oprah Winfrey show in the US to an audience of millions, Douglas said while he “got on with it” his wife showed typical British “stiff upper lip” and bottled up her feelings.
He told the legendary TV show host: “I think that part of Catherine’s whole background, she’s Welsh and the Welsh, it’s all stiff upper lip, not let your feelings show.”
It is not the Welsh who have the "stiff upper lip" but the English. The Welsh have always expressed their emotions openly and are not nearly as repressed. Welsh and English characteristics and behaviour are quite different despite generations of domination.