25 Years Ago

9th August 1996 at 01:00
What is it about Esperanto which makes it something less than the global equivalent of Scots Gaelic and not the universal language it was designed to be? Last week in London 2,000 Esperantists attended a world congress, and this week in Edinburgh the youth version drew 150. These are, in a way, impressive figures and Esperantists at least find them hopeful, but if Esperanto were really the world's second language there should not be a hall in any city capable of staging a conference of Esperantists - and there would scarcely be any reason for Esperantists specially to gather.

* The Education (Milk) Bill received its Royal Assent last week . . . Glasgow education committee are considering continuing the supply of free milk to all primary pupils over the age of seven "for a reasonable time" after the start of the new session. This will give parents a chance to ask their family doctor whether he can recommend free milk on the ground of medical need.

* The Scottish Police College may be outside the mainstream of Scottish education, but it has a number of the features that any college would show off as indicating that it kept up with the times. Instructors make extensive use of visual aids such as knuckle-dusters and one-armed bandits, as well as the more usual films, slides and models.

* Stirling University's impressive arts complex, the MacRobert Centre, opens officially on September 27 with the premiere of Scottish Opera's new production of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress.

* Inverness College is offering courses in English for foreigners. Citizens of the northern capital are reputed to speak English to a high standard, so it should be a good place for foreigners to learn.

* From a local paper: "She had trained for three years in domestic science at Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh, and did not want to teach. She wanted always to help people."


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