Thursday, 27 November 2008

Dumb Kids!

I have just finished watching Newsnight on the internet and one particular story caught my eye. Phil Woollyarse (smarmy git), discussing the merits of the new points system for immigration (as if we don’t have enough of them already). There’s a list of various shortages, most of which seem science orientated to me.

There’s quite a long list : Biological Scientists & Biochemists, Physicists, Geologists, Meteorologists, Civil Engineers, Chemical Engineers, Medical Practitioners, Dental Practitioners.. anyhow, you get the picture.

Upon perusing the online papers (I’d buy them, but walking around with The Daily Mail tucked under my arm in a Spanish town, is a dead giveaway of non integration and I do like to mingle). I discover that both The Times and The Independent are reporting on the failure of our current education system to teach Science properly.
What happened? I can only assume, our “dictatorship” in its efforts to convince everyone that their new community schools are preferable to the old Grammar/Secondary school system which I was educated in, was fiddling the figures (God forbid). They still, as I understand it, are desperate to abolish any Grammar schools which still exist.

“0%: That is what this year's top science pupils would have got in 1965!"

"High-flying GCSE students set for an A or A* pass scored zero points in a mock science exam which included old O-level questions. The two-hour exam, devised by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and named "The Five Decade Challenge", included questions from past science papers spread over the past 43 years.
The results published today showed the older the paper, the fewer marks the students scored. For instance, the average score for the 2005 paper questions was 35 per cent, compared to 15 per cent for the 1965 questions. Overall, the average score was 25 per cent but the RSC said some children scored no marks at all. The RSC called the test, taken by just over 1,300 of the country's brightest 16-year-olds, the first hard evidence of a "catastrophic slippage" in exam standards” (Independent)

QUESTIONS : Why have they fiddled the figures? If the government has put so much money and effort into schools, why haven’t the figures ACTUALLY improved? Are science teachers just crap teachers? Does the government interfere so much that they can’t just get on with the job of teaching? Do we have too many kids per teacher? Do we pander to the less able while the more talented are ignored?

MY OPINION : In my opinion comprehensive schools were the worse thing that happened to our education system. It was one of the very first “politically correct” policies I can remember disagreeing with.

In order for thick kids not to feel like complete moronic failures, we failed to give enough attention to the bright, gifted ones that worked hard and deserved the best of our teachers and resources.

Also seems ironic somehow that one of the reasons our schools are probably so bad is the fact that teachers have to try to communicate with immigrant children who can’t even speak English!

CONCLUSION : TIME FOR THE RETURN OF THE GRAMMAR SCHOOL where the brightest, more able of youngsters can be nurtured, or we will not be able to compete in a global market.

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