Recruitment of Oriental Language Teachers

Mauritius Times – 60 Years Ago

By Somduth Bhuckory

A fortnight ago we wrote on the teaching of Oriental Languages in schools and we pointed out that after the lapse of six years the Education Department has decided to increase the number of teachers of Oriental Languages by twenty-five. And we spoke about the incongruous qualifications exacted from people who want to join the Department as teachers of Oriental Languages.

Goodness knows what has happened. We find the Director of Education inviting applications again! In a press notice dated the 23rd of November, 1956, he has changed his tune.

According to the new press notice applicants “should possess the qualifications which are recognised to be at least of GCE standard in Hindi or Urdu or Tamil and have also received secondary education up to Form V level”. The closing date is the 30th of November 1956.

The first press notice dated, 25th of October, stipulated: “They (applicants) should have passed the General Certificate of Education or equivalent examination in (i) Urdu or Hindi or Tami, and (ii) English. Preference will be given, however, to candidates holding the Cambridge School Certificate or equivalent certificate including one of the above Oriental Languages plus English.” The closing date was the 7th of November 1956.

What has made the Director of Education change his mind and step down? Is it pressure of public opinion or want of response to his first press notice? We should like to know the number of applicants the Department received from prospective teachers of Hindi, Urdu and Tamil.

Anyway, we are now concerned with the new press notice. Will that give satisfaction? We are afraid that the answer is no. That is so because a knowledge of English has again been made a sine qua non condition of employment. Setting a minimum standard for the Oriental Languages is alright. Instead of exacting a certificate in English of the GCE standard, the Director wants candidates to have “received secondary education up to Form V level”. There is some difference on the face of the change but in practice there will be very little, if any.

In our opinion, as regards the knowledge of English, the press notice could have simply said that preference will be given to those possessing a knowledge of English in addition to their minimum knowledge of the Oriental languages concerned.

Is it too late to issue a third press notice?

 * * *

 Kind Thoughts for Children

Every year, the organisation Help the Children Fund draws our attention to the sufferings of Mauritian children and appeals for funds to relieve their sufferings. Today is the day this year when a public collection is being made to come to the help of poor and sick children.

Ignorance, no less than poverty and disease, has to be eradicated from our midst.

And to-day when so many thoughts are turning towards L’Enfance Malheureuse we want to appeal to My Kynaston-Snell to help children of all classes and communities by throwing wide open the doors to primary education to them. We are not appealing to Mr Kynaston-Snell to perform an act of charity. We are appealing to him to give our children their birthright.

We understand that Mr Kynaston-Snell will be leaving for UK on the 10th of December. We are not inclined to believe that he is longing to see snow and shiver in the bleak winter. The Director of Education is leaving us under the impression that he wants to get away from it all before the new school year starts in January. Better the winter over there, than hell over here! Everything will be OK in UK, but what about the little ones he will leave behind queuing up for primary education?

Is it not possible to postpone the departure? If not, is it not advisable to summon Mr Kynaston-Snell to the Legislative Council to explain that he is not leaving everything in a mess?

N.M.U. dine chez… N.M.U

— Mon Oeil !

L’autre jour, un cordonnier à qui j’avais donné à réparer une paire de chaussures me la rendit enveloppée dans un Cernéen. Je sais bien que tous nos quotidiens subissent à peu près le même sort — et même un sort parfois pire — mais, ce numéro du Cernéen était tellement vide, tellement de mauvaise foi (cette mauvaise foi coutumière et abjecte) que je pensai que le cordonnier l’avait choisi — pour m’emballer mes chaussures.

C’est Le Cernéen du lundi 29 octobre. A la première page, l’OPINION DU JOUR, Lâcheté de l’anonymat, sous la signature de N.M.U. (Noël Marrier d’Unienville) — initiales qui ne doivent être qu’un ANONYMAT pour beaucoup et qui l’étaient pour tous pendant longtemps.

Evidemment, N.M.U., le plus vite possible, pour qui l’anonymat se pratique surtout dans l’Advance et le Mauritius Times — mais dans ce même Cernéen au haut de la page 2, N.M.U. publie une lettre anonyme qu’il est supposé recevoir de “Pères de Famille de Port Louis” (En passant, pourquoi la page 2?) pour se camoufler lâchement. Oui, car, l’habitude et la fameuse Tribune des Lecteurs du Cernéen, parait en quatrième ou première page. Exemple cette tribune où la Secrétaire du P.R. Society — qui doit être renseignée comme Peter Ibbotson? — fait voir ce qu’elle vaut (première page).

Pour N.M.U. “il n’existe aucune différence entre la lettre anonyme et l’article anonyme qui révèle les mêmes intentions infamantes”. Et “dans une société civilisée (celle de N.M.U.?) une lettre anonyme, écrite dans l’intention de DENONCER, de DENIGRER, de DIFFAMER ou de DEFORMER les faits DESHONORE son auteur”. Et, quand un journal publie un article anonyme, forcément, il doit être un peu considéré comme l’auteur de cet article !… Voyons maintenant la lettre des Pères de Famille dont N.M.U. endosse donc l’existence:

Titre: Bravo Les Travaillistes

On sent tout de suite que c’est pour DENIGRER le Parti Travailliste. Et maintenant les Pères numérotent ce que les députés Travaillistes n’ont pas encore fait… Or comme les députés Travaillistes sont en minorité (la dernière motion Travailliste discutée — Forget, rivière, réserves etc. — avait été battue et N.M.U. le savait !) ils ne peuvent rien faire… et tout le monde le sait.

Donc en publiant cet article, N.M.U. comme de coutume, DENONCE, DENIGRE, DIFFAME ou DEFORME les faits, et se DESHONORE lui-même! Bravo! N.M.U.

Est-ce que N.M.U. a voulu se dénoncer, se déshonorer quand il a enfanté ce numéro du Cernéen ? Non, sûrement pas… La seule conclusion possible c’est que N.M.U. baisse, baisse rapidement.

Mon Oeil!

* Published in print edition on 7 June 2019

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