Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Edukation - By Gove we're in trubble!

On a day when an OECD* study puts our sixteen to twenty-four year olds somewhere very near to the bottom when it comes to literacy and numeracy. Now before we deal with the claims that it isn't a legacy from Labour and some sloping shoulders from Gove, the man who has done little to help education since he took over from another equally woeful incumbent, lets celebrate the fact that we are placed :

22/24 for Litteracy and a much betterer 21/24 for maffematics!

For a nation that gave the world some of its greatest literature and brightest stars in mathematics and science this is nothing but a disgrace and a national shame.

What worries me more is the reality that once other factors are taken into account the reality is that the wrinklies are better than the you - an indicator that the old standards where Reading, Writing and Arithmetic (the three 'Rs') took the front row, might just be the telling issue here. Perhaps we need to buy books rather than show the video (and I kid you not - one of our children watched a film in class rather than read a classic because it meant they didn't need the books - 'God help us all.' cried Tiny Ted).

So tonight we find something like 9 million adult with the numeracy skills of a ten year old and that's apparently a year older than the majority's reading ability.

Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock had this to say:

'This shocking report shows England has some of the least literate and numerate young adults in the developed world!'

 Of course Hancock then went on to try and pass the blame onto Labour - no surprise there then :-) - just as their chap stood up and pointed to the better grades and pass marks under labour (what's that Sooty, they lowered them? Surely not ;-)  )

Let's have a look at where we are on the better of the two tables (Numeracy) and see if there are any surprises or things to celebrate:

Flanders (Belgium)
South Korea
Czech Republic
Slovak Republic
Northern Ireland
United States
Source: OECD* Survey of Adult Skills 2013

Well we're above the Americans but then again anything less would be the end of the world as I know it - but of course, only just!

The time has come for those of us with children to engage with their education and redress the woeful experiences that so many of our children are having. Labour might forget Lord Adonis' Academies and look to the ConDemn Coalition - but the reality is that none have clean hands here and whilst grades are tinkered with and teachers are taken from teaching to grade manipulation exercises (and modular education is not all bad by the way - the manipulation of grades by clever selection and re-sit is the problem that needs resolving) and a dumbing down of what they're teaching (Snell's law, Kirchhoff and the like - remember them anyone?). Perhaps we all need to watch that prophetic film 'Idiocracy'

Can I encourage people to take a look at the report (not just the spinning reports from whatever press source or bloke on the train is available) and then press for change - do it as parents, citizen's and as Church - for we need to stand to make education something that maximises the abilities and potential of our children - it's about that, not potential earnings, isn't it?

Come on people - make a noise and make a stand for our children's sakes.

*Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 

The report can be found here

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