To be honest I’m not talking about an Olympic medal, I’ve always been barely adequate at athletics, not able to make the netball team or any other team come to that. But something happened to me when I was 11 that changed my life. I passed the 11+ exam to go to grammar school. For me it was a chance to start believing in myself, there was something I could do.
Now there are quite legitimate criticisms of that exam, I have made some myself. A once in a life-time chance is by no means a good idea, and chances for the few are shameful in a wealthy country like ours, and the destruction of all our hopes for the future. Children have a large number of different talents and abilities and every boy and girl should be encouraged to be the best that they can be, we all change as we grow older so there must be; second, third and further opportunities to acquire the skills that in this complicated life we will all need. That is why the re-introduction of grammar schools is a bad idea because it carries with it the idea of success for the few and failure for the many. Of course the idea of success for the few still is present in our society in independent schools. There the deciding factor is money, if your parents can afford it that’s accepted by society.
The world is changing at an astonishing rate, if computers take over most office jobs what are the office workers going to do? Probably more impotent than skills is the self -belief that every human being needs that they are versatile,flexible with the ability to change whatever the circumstances they find themselves in. We know this to be true in the brief history of mankind since they left Africa and settled in the snow and ice of the Arctic, in mountainous terrain to bleak inhospitable deserts. There is no one right answer just many adaptations.
I have been a teacher and a lecturer for a number of years. I am married with two sons. I'm interested drama, films, TV, books, society in general, poverty and riches and political systems.
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