WHO NEEDS A GOOD EDUCATION?

The government thinks that a few children,  from ‘ordinary working families’ need a good education therefore the solution is to bring back grammar schools. The majority, say 70% would of course not be selected so we can save money on most secondary schools. These children would be told that they were failures, as they were in the days of the 11+. Of course no-one is saying that all children have the same talents and abilities but selection presupposes an elite, maybe 10%, or 20% or even 30%.  The remaining 80% will some how find their way through a fragmented education system and the large number who are functionally illiterate can mind a machine. Oh I forgot our clothes and equipment are made in China or Korea, so we don’t have any machines in factories. The kind of jobs we did 10, or 20 or 30 years ago don’t exist any more; the jobs we want people to do nursing, caring, looking after the very young or the very old, we can’t afford to pay for. Rich country that we are we prefer to reduce the taxation on the very, very rich because they are the people who talk to the politicians every day and they are the ones who pay their election expenses.

There are some countries that have the revolutionary idea that all children matter, mostly these countries are in Scandinavia. In Finland, which comes very high in the Pisa educational ranking: ” the Finnish strategy for achieving equality and excellence has been based on a publicly funded, comprehensive school system without selecting, tracking, or streaming students during their common basic education.”—– ” Inclusive special education within the classroom and instructional efforts to minimise low achievement are also typical of Nordic education systems.” [ this information is taken from Wikipedia]

It seems to me that the most important words here are ‘ without selecting, or tracking or streaming’. This is so different from the UK educational system where these same three words are the basis of all secondary schooling, with the addition of one other, testing. All children are told frequently where they come in the pecking order of the classroom, for the majority that is below the six boys and girls at the top. This is entirely their own fault. There are no resources to provide the help they need. It is entirely predictable that the result is bullying, which it appears is accepted as ‘normal’ behaviour in the classroom. I speak from experience my eldest son was bullied on a daily basis, he was a very bright boy with a great enthusiasm for learning. But such are the tragic results of  unaddressed bullying, he had to leave school without completing his education. Of course there are many more like him going through the same kind of experience today.

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