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Tabula rasa

By July 22, 2010News

As we have mentioned on Boriswatch before, the Mayor is a particular fan of encouraging kids to learn Latin. Bozza himself studied classics at Oxford, and has been vocal in his opinions over recent months that the teaching of Latin should not be the preserve of independent schools.

Well, it appears that he might be getting somewhere. Five primary schools in Westminster will be offering Latin lessons at lunch-time or after hours under a pilot scheme which could be extended to another 10 schools across the borough. The move is aimed at increasing the numbers of schools that offer Latin as an option, as currently only 4 per cent of state schools have the subject on the curriculum.

Bozza, naturally, is delighted. “We cannot possibly understand our modern world unless we understand the ancient world that made us all,� he said. “There is simply no better way than to make young minds think in a logical and analytical way.�

Councillor Nickie Aiken, Westminster’s cabinet member for children, said: “Latin shouldn’t only be reserved for pupils at independent schools.” Quite right – as Cicero once famously said, “assiduus usus uni rei deditus et ingenium et artem saepe vincit.”*

(* “Constant practice devoted to one subject often outdoes both intelligence and skill.”)

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