The UK Education System Just Got Worse (If that’s possible).

The OECD

The system of education in Britain has been declining for years, so it is no big surprise that it fell from 17th position to 25th in world rankings in the last OECD survey completed in 2006.

It is no secret that today an estimated 4 out of 5 children in the UK cannot read or write correctly when they leave school. For a few moments, take the time to look at news items on the web and read comments on articles sent in by members of the public (A mild example: “OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats a big fat joke wot the hell is this county getting like???”). It’s probably true that some reading this blog will find nothing wrong with this comment. Among a fair majority, the standard of written English is abysmal to say the least.

Is this an indictment of the government, the education system, the children, or their parents? To me it is more likely a combination of them all, but with some more prominent than others.

The 'Iron Lady'

Let us take first the government. Ever since Maggie Thatcher left the Whitehall ‘throne’ there has been a steadily increasing number of budget cuts to education. All the school playing fields, where children got their daily exercise through sport, have been sold off for urban development due to government cost-cutting. This is part of the reason why we have so many obese children today. Many school buildings have been declared ‘unfit for purpose’ due to an increasing lack of money for maintenance, and as for building new schools, forget it!

The Devious Duo

The education system itself has not fared any better. Since Labour came to power under Tony Blair, we have seen a continual lowering of the pass levels by way of making exam questions easier in school examinations (2+2 =? Select one of the following: 4, 4, 4, 4). This was the Labour governments answer to falling pass rates among pupils. Typical of the idiots we called a government; if insufficient people cannot get over the barrier, then lower it. It was a quick and easy fix which compensated for an inefficient education system, poor teaching methods, and made them look good.

It is also a sad fact that the national curriculum, as well as exams, have been greatly modified (or toned down if you wish), to accomodate the ever increasing number of immigrants that entered our schools during the Blair era. Instead of requiring immigrant children to learn english, we are now teaching in their language in some schools, causing disruption and chaos. It is just another indication of how we are pandering to the ever increasing demands of immigrants instead of insisting they adopt to our ways.

Generally speaking, teachers today are of a very poor standard with insufficient knowledge to teach properly without a teaching guide in front of them. This is in part due to indifferent teacher training, and in part to the significant lowering of standards over the years.

That standards have dropped, no-one in their right minds can deny.

It is also sad to note that many of the subjects I took as a boy, like history, geography and religion are ‘skimmed-over’, or no longer taught for they have become irrelevant in today’s ‘modern society’.

But history is the backbone of  patriotism, and because we no longer teach children the rich history of our nation, the only thing that brings out our patriotic spirit is football. A very poor substitute.

Ask kids today where Malawi is and they have never heard of it, unless it was on the TV for some reason. Religion is all but dying out among the young people of Britain today to the extent that many no longer consider it necessary to get married, even when they have a child. Once the old people are gone the church and its teachings will probably die a slow death.

To many, teaching is no longer a ‘calling’ but just a job, and this is evident in the fact that many teachers today do little more than recite from the lesson material rather than have a deep knowledge of the subject themselves. I call it parrot training!

As I say all this, I do realise that it does not apply to all, and there are still dedicated teachers out there who do their level best for the students in their charge, within the constraints of the insanity that governs British schools that is.

Another  major contributing factor is the removal of all forms of discipline a teacher may use against disruptive pupils. Gone are the days when you could be sent to the headmaster’s office for ‘six-of-the-best’ with the cane if you misbehaved, now a teacher has to put up with not only verbal abuse, but also physical violence from pupils. It was claimed recently that as many as 4 out of 5 teachers had been assaulted by their pupils at some time or another.

This brings us to the children themselves. Over the past three generations or so children have become more assertive and aggressive, a fact attributable to the steady erosion of all forms of discipline brought about by the ‘elf & safety’ and ‘uman rights’ groups that infest modern life. These self-righteous individuals have become the plague of our times, but to date, no government has had the balls to put them in their place, instead they have pampered them.

Caring Parents - Not Always!

In my opinion, the parents are also to blame for the lack of proper education in that many, if not most, do not have time or inclination to become involved in their off-springs education. Ask many and you will get the reply: “That’s wot schools are 4”!

These people do not realise that they also bear responsibility for their children’s learning by making sure they grow up as responsible human beings and have respect for their teachers and all others. If there is no discipline in the home how can there be any in school!

A Once Proud Nation

There is little doubt that the British have declined so far in stature from the days of empire, that we have become the laughing stock of most countries in the world. It is time to turn our efforts inward and stop trying to impress the rest of the world while we sort out the mess that has become Not So’ Great Britain.

Unless radical action is taken to restore high standards of teaching, discipline in schools, and respect among the young, we will soon find ourselves lower on the international education table than the poorest African states.

What makes it really sad, is that sometime in the not too distant future there will be no skilled English workforce if the education standards are not improved. In such a case we, the British, will be relying on immigrants to fill skilled jobs because our own people are fit only as unskilled labour. That may sound like an exaggeration, but who is to say it is impossible. We constantly ‘import’ skilled labour in some sectors already.

It will take a government with balls to carry out such radical change in thinking and practice within our education system. The problem is, how long will we have to wait before one comes along?

Roy.


9 Responses to “The UK Education System Just Got Worse (If that’s possible).”

  1. First of all I would like to say terrific blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.
    I’ve had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out.
    I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying
    to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hints?
    Kudos!

    Like

    • Dear B,
      When I write a blog I decide on what subject I will write about and do a little research. Once I start I do not think about what I am going to write because it just flows. I do not have any preconceived ideas about what I am writing except the basic subject.
      It is better to establish what you are going to write about and just let your ideas come to the fore. To think about what you are writing can be a tiring episode so just let your ideas flow. I hope this helps.
      Best Regards,
      Roy.

      Like

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