Comann Eachdraichd Uig

1815 - Sgoiltean Gàidhlig – Gaelic Schools

Valtos School opened with Donald Morrison A Sgoillear Ban as teacher and twelve scholars. The Edinburgh Society for the Support of Gaelic Schools had been established in 1811. Its object was to teach people to read the scriptures in their mother tongue. The main text book was the Gaelic Bible. A teacher would be settled in a community for a year or more and then moved on. By 1818 there were twenty six scholars in Valtos and forty two by the following year but the teacher was then withdrawn.

Schools appeared briefly in Capadale, Kneep, Mangersta, Carnish, Crowlista, Inaclete, Reiff, Loch Roag (at Geshader) and Bays of Uig. People of all ages came to the teachers. One teacher made a request to the Society for twenty four pairs of spectacles for scholars who were aging.

Superintendent’s report on Inaclete school

“It was gratifying to examine mothers with their little infants in their bosoms. There are twenty one above twenty years of age attending this school when they can, some of them above sixty years.”

“Cho fad ’s a bhitheas muir a’ bualadh ri lic’ agus bainne geal aig
bò dhuibh, cha bu chòir do mhuinntir Leòdhais na sgoiltean Gàidhlig a dhìochuimhneachadh.”

“As long as the sea breaks on the rocks and a black cow produces white milk, the people of Lewis should not forget the Gaelic Schools.”

Rev John Macrae