In today’s Scotsman:
IT IS the dead language of ancient Rome, the Declaration of Arbroath, law books and medical terminology.
But a new campaign is using that most modern of inventions – Facebook – to wage a battle to save Latin in Scottish schools.
An online bid to protect qualifications in the study of the ancient language is picking up global support with the rallying
cry “Heri, hodie, semper!” – “Today, tomorrow, always!”
The campaign was launched in response to proposals by the Scottish Qualifications Authority to cut back the exam options available to pupils.
Entry-level exams in the subject could go, deterring pupils from taking the language at a higher level, say opponents.
The plans have been branded “elitist nonsense” and a “regression to past inequality” by allowing only the brightest pupils to gain qualifications and axeing options for youngsters with lower academic ability.
Helen Lawrenson, a recently retired teacher of Latin and English in Fife who launched the online campaign, said: “I would argue that Latin isn’t a dead language, but a timeless language.
“And the acquisition of Latin is undoubtedly an advantage in the study of law and medicine.”
The Facebook page has attracted support from pupils, teachers and academics around the world, many of whom have also written to the SQA and education minister Mike Russell in protest.