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Thursday, 29 September 2011


The Cornish word 'azook' is used by the pilot of a gig when he wants his crew to pull hard together.

It is something that Cornish nationalists need to learn to do.

Today I spent a glorious couple of hours in the company of Claire White of Azook CIC.

"Azook is a UK based not for profit Community Interest Company, dedicated to strengthening cultural confidence and social cohesion across communities." A major part of Azook's work is providing learning resources for schools across Cornwall.

Claire, who was previously a teacher, became frustrated with the way that educational resources seemed to take children away from their Cornish communities in order to learn. She believes that children need to learn about the world in a way that also teaches them about their roots and where they live.

Claire and Azook have developed a unique way of providing learning resources that cover the whole of the national curriculum. Azook is a shining example of traditional Cornish innovation being applied in a modern and forward looking way. Their work is steadily providing a massive online source of resources for teachers. 'A Sense of Place' is "a flagship project in Cornwall delivered by Azook CIC in partnership with Cornwall Council. It enables teachers in primary and secondary settings to deliver the curriculum with distinctiveness and diversity."

Cornwall deserves a network of well-funded, high-quality primary and secondary schools, under
local authority control that all provide a consistently high standard of education. Teachers should be allowed to teach and students to study in ways that ensure that our young people are properly equipped for their adult lives.

The marketisation and fragmentation of the education system through the creation of academies and free schools has to be stopped before it does irreparable damage.

As Public services spokesman for Mebyon Kernow I am helping to develop our policy on education and I hope to be able to follow Azook's example in creating a vision of education that has it's feet set firmly in Cornwall while giving children a chance to embrace the whole world.

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