We look back at the stories that were making the headlines in the Andersonstown News this week in 1980
History O’ Level concern
SOME parents in the nationalist areas of Belfast are considering registering an official protest about an Irish History question in the year’s O’Level exam. They feel that the question could put a young person from a nationalist area at risk of being ‘marked down’ by an unscrupulous examiner, who did not agree with their sincerely held views on the present British/Irish conflict.
They are also angry that some of the assertions made in the paper about the present conflict, could have other interpretations which have been completely ignored. For example: One question states “in England people of different religions live together without difficulty, yet in Ireland religion is closely connected with political bitterness and violence.”
And in another: “Describe the various methods employed by the British Government during the past ten years to bring peace to Ulster.”
Both these assertions are factually wrong and historically misleading, and whether by accident or design, they could place the young Nationalist at a severe disadvantage if he/she answers them truthfully. The parents are determined that these politically ‘loaded’ questions should not appear in the future.
Our Education Correspondent writes: The pro-British content of our school curriculum in the six counties has always placed the Nationalist child at a disadvantage. Irish History especially is treated in a superficial manner with a strong bias towards a ‘British’ point of view. Exam questions of the kind quoted have been the rule rather than the exception.
In the past it has been quite often the practice in Catholic schools for teachers to warn pupils against answering questions on Irish History, in case they place themselves at the mercy of some pro-British examiner. With more than 50 per cent of the school children in the six counties coming from Catholic schools, some people think that the time has come to stand up and be counted, and demand an end to biased questions.
A lesson to be learned
IN the past three years, two small primary schools have closed in the Lower Falls area, and it is reported that a third, St Paul’s in Getty Street, is to go by December 1980.
Local people are worried about the school closures and are asking what schools are to be provided in their place. They mentioned in particular the closing of St Peter’s Raglan Street almost three years ago. The building is still standing and being used as a youth club and for adult evening classes, but still no new school has been provided.
The next to go was Balkan Street School, even though itinerant children were attending it at the time. It’s a shame the way they are closing our school,” said one woman. “No-one is making any attempt to fight on our behalf. I believe that this matter should be publicised on behalf of parents, teachers and children. The closure of the schools is quite a loss to us in this area.”
Another resident told us, “Nobody knows who is in charge of all these goings-on. There’s plenty of ground space around here, so what’s keeping them from building? Is it the Education Board, the Housing Executive, or our own priests?”
Festival week in Lenadoon
THERE have been quite a number of festivals in the Lenadoon area in the past years.
Usually they have been called The Lenadoon Festival. This year as you can see we have changed the name to The Glen Lenadoon and Suffolk Festival or GLS Festival for short.
We have expanded the name because we are covering a larger area and catering for more people than ever before. The programme of events reflects this expansion.
All the old favourites are still there: athletics, puppet shows, rock concert and so on. To these we have added some events which we hope will prove to be popular, eg, an exhibition by the Fire Brigade, carousels, pony trotting and many more.
This programme should give the sleuths among you a clue to our festival theme – Enjoyment Eighty – and to turn this motto into a reality it is important that you support this one week of festive activities, so come along to the event of your choice, bring your ma, da, friends, neighbours, relations, dog and enjoy yourself. Even take part, if you feel like it.