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Education: another rung down the ladder.

A few posts back, I mentioned that OFSTED gave the education system a ticking off for being, well, pretty crap. Further to this, the bosses of Tesco and Marks & Spencer are complaining that the school leavers they are expected to employ are pretty much illiterate. They're no use to supermarkets so you have to wonder what the rocket science labs think of them. The climate change labs will take them on, especially if they're unable to spot dodgy numbers.

Our government deny it all. Those school leavers are exactly as they are supposed to be. It's the employers asking for unreasonable skills, like operating a till or a pricing gun or an ability to push trolleys through a car park without bouncing them off cars and shoppers. What sort of jobs are those? Those children are trained to understand how the trolley feels about being pushed around and to sympathise with the till when it gets prodded all day long. As for guns - they're banned, aren't they? All those kids need to know to work in a supermarket is that they should treat anyone buying cigarettes as if they had leprosy and if anyone attempts to buy alcohol, they must be refused in case they let a child see the bottle. Anyway, none of Labour's production-line clones will accept any job lower than managing director and they won't expect to have to do anything while in the job. It's what the education system has prepared them for.

Education is dumbed down so that even Ed Balls can follow it. The next stage is to dumb down employers sufficiently so they'll believe the Brown Gorgon is good at sums. That'll take some time.

What, then, are the lessons our government will learn from this? That they have royally screwed the education system, and with it the lives of countless people who are now out in the world, equipped only with an extraordinarily over-developed sense of entitlement which they spell as 'me rites, innit?' People who are not good enough to get a job in a supermarket. How did they manage to destroy education to that extent? There is no way that level of wreckage came about by accident.

What they have learned is that it doesn't matter what employers say. It doesn't matter what teachers say. It doesn't matter what OFSTED says. What our government have learned, the only lesson they have ever learned, is that they can do as they damn well please and there's not a thing anyone can do about it.

The next addition to the curriculum, then, is teaching five-year-olds about domestic violence, with women as the only possible victims. Women are never violent and men always are. It must be nice to live in a world as simplistic as Labour's. One size fits all. All whites are racists, all murderers are misunderstood, every man is a rapist and a wife-beater, all parents are child abusers and everyone, without exception, is a paedophile. So much easier than that head-hurting 'thinking' stuff. No wonder they want it removed from schools.

When Tiny Blur said 'Education, education, education', we all thought he meant 'literacy and maths and actual skills'. What he really meant was 'teach a whole generation to be useless and dependent on Labour so they'll vote for us forever'.

As long as this band of morons remains in power, nothing will improve and everything will continue to collapse. They cannot listen and they cannot learn.

Trouble is, I don't really believe the next lot can either.
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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
26th Nov, 2009 02:19 (UTC)
All part of the plan
I often wonder which 1 of my twins is the 'success'. Both did pretty well in GSCE's (which I doubt were as intensive as the scottish 'o' grades I took many years ago)and one carried on to A level the other dropped out half way through and started taking drugs. One is now pursuing a career in teaching; the other one is holding down a couple of part time jobs (cleaner and bar worker) while still taking drugs. One always conformed to school; the other used to walk out on a regular basis.
When I talk about current affairs with them I find the one who conformed and got A levels and wants to teach only parrots back what she has been taught. The other THINKS! He knows something is wrong and has his own opinions on what that is. He has been an outsider throughout his school life apart from with a few proper teachers who told me he was far more intelligent than his sister who gets the A grades for parroting.
Intelligence is most definitely not encouraged and many of the thinkers are now left out in the cold and even put on special needs for their behaviour (as my son and another incredibly intelligent friend of his who was reading the same books as me at the age of 9 were)
To question is to be wrong!
I nearly home educated at one point because I was so pissed off with the attitude of a village school head, but I didn't think I was up to it. When I read a post by IanB a few months back, I wish that I'd have had the courage to do so.
26th Nov, 2009 08:56 (UTC)
Leg Iron,
Why no mention of this from BBC Pravda?

26th Nov, 2009 10:04 (UTC)
A depressing but accurate appraisal.

I'll not vote Tory but the Tories will get in anyway.

On the plus side, they're probably more competent than Labour and have better ideas.

Unfortunately, we can't expect them to repair our sovereignty, apart from the odd, frayed bandaid.

26th Nov, 2009 16:39 (UTC)
'More competent' is generous. 'Less incompetent' is perhaps more accurate but then, only because Labour have set the bar so high.

It'll be interesting to see whether the Tories are actually all that different. We should start to find out in the run-up to the election.
26th Nov, 2009 10:51 (UTC)
I did my teacher training in the early '70s when 'child-centred' education was all the rage. Oxford LEA was always held up as the shining exemplar of this philosophy.

In principle, it means that children 'discover for themselves', the teacher's role being to enable the child's route through his own educational path. From what I can remember, this was to be achieved by exposing the class to a vast array of 'resources', designed to excite the child's curiosity. Learning had to be a fun, reward-laden, two-way process with the child determining the pace. (Oh - and creativity was everything. Never correct spelling or grammar. Mustn't put our budding poet-laureates off!)

It's not SUCH a bad idea. I imagine home-educators do pretty much the same thing without even realising it. But then, home-educators are dealing with very few children who they know very well, which is hardly the same for school teachers. In practise, there's no money for the resources (whittled down to to a home-made worksheet), the class of 35 are entirely mixed-ability and pandemonium reigns. You lose the interest of the brightest while the less able (or the downright lazy) slide effortlessly from view.
And all the while, you're not to be critical. On no account must tiny egos be bruised.

The result is not just uneducated school-leavers. My husband has employed graduates who simply cannot write.


26th Nov, 2009 13:28 (UTC)
"...the class of 35 are entirely mixed-ability and pandemonium reigns."

Sadly, Karen, that's not a mistake that the educators - or at any rate, some of them - are capable of learning from...

JuliaM (http://thylacosmilus.blogspot.com/)
26th Nov, 2009 16:41 (UTC)
Mixed ability is a nightmare. I don't know how anyone can do justice to the core subjects, esp. maths and the sciences, in a mixed ability class. You can get away with it at junior level, but not secondary.

“Mixed-ability classes have a positive effect on the attitudes and self esteem of all pupils regardless of their ability level"

Demonstrable bollocks.

Ironically, the best teaching method for mixed-ability is 'chalk and talk', which is anathema to these education 'experts'.
26th Nov, 2009 16:48 (UTC)
Anon 16:41

That was me again!
26th Nov, 2009 16:51 (UTC)
Anon 16:41

That was me again!
26th Nov, 2009 16:42 (UTC)
I've taught at graduate level - it's not just that they can't spell or write legibly, it's that they genuinely don't see the purpose of it. They get upset if you mark them down because you can't read what they've written.

So do the education admin. I was often told off for writing 'fail' on papers when I was supposed to write 'not achieved'. These were 17-20 year olds!

And they were failures.
26th Nov, 2009 12:28 (UTC)
Presumably it was one of these "illiterate, innumerate" school leavers working for Tesco, who accidentally sent out a payment for 6 bicycles that was 1,000 times the correct amount! The company is now taking legal action to try and get the overpayment back!


26th Nov, 2009 13:26 (UTC)
"Presumably it was one of these "illiterate, innumerate" school leavers working for Tesco, who accidentally sent out a payment for 6 bicycles that was 1,000 times the correct amount!"


JuliaM (http://thylacosmilus.blogspot.com/)
26th Nov, 2009 13:25 (UTC)
The story that Laban links to here is pretty soul-destroying...

JuliaM (http://thylacosmilus.blogspot.com/)
26th Nov, 2009 16:38 (UTC)
Edukashun innit
The EU has a say, for (better or) worse, in many aspects of our lives. Yet, education, so important to the future prosperity of our little nation, appears to be entirely under UK control. As the rest of Europe have maintained their educational standards, they have a huge advantage, especially as NuLab have destroyed UK teaching and condemned millions to an unfulfilling, dependency-culture future. And allegedly just so they continue to vote for the hand that feeds them? Surely that's the ultimate in cynicism? Ed P
26th Nov, 2009 18:39 (UTC)
Re: Edukashun innit
We won't have it all our own way on education. Article 2E of the Treaty of Rome (as amended by Lisbon) says that the EU:

" ..... shall have competence to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States. The areas of such action shall, at European level, be:
(e) education, vocational training, youth and sport

Although, in theory, that looks like we'll be largely left to our own devices on education, we all know what the EU usually mean by "support" don't we, boys and girls? All the time we're falling well below the rest of Europe, they'll just let us slide; but you can rest assured that in the (admittedly unlikely) event that our education system resumes its previous dominance as "an education system which is the envy of the world" they'll move swiftly to bevel us down to the rest of Europe's level "to ensure equality of opportunity between Member States."
27th Nov, 2009 05:21 (UTC)
Read and weep, if you've got all day.


h/t James Delingpole and Sue at muffled vociferation.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )