Monday, September 25, 2006

Radically more of the same

ARCH yet again are right on the money when it comes to the government's latest 'radical education reforms.'

"We hear often enough about a child’s ‘right to education’ (Article 28 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in case you’re interested in the technicalities) but there’s a stunning silence on its Siamese twin, Article 29, that defines exactly what education should be about, as in:

‘States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to (a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential.'

What will it take for this - or any other - Government to rip out our dismal education system and replace it with something fit for purpose? Rather than contemplating yet more ways of controlling the children who fall of the conveyor-belt, a good start would be to ask them what needs to be done – now that really would be radical."

Absolutely. We could transform the entire country for the better within the space of a generation if we got serious about the education system. Unfortunately we put a never ending succession of people in charge of the system, who can't see beyond the next headline or the need to make their mark with 'radical reforms,' in the maximum of two or three years they are likely to have in the post. The result is armies of dedicated and worn out teachers, so weighed down with ticking boxes and processing bits of paper so the latest secretary of state can proudly declare what a fantastic job that the government is doing, that those teachers have no time or space for children or teaching. Primary schools become government paper processing and child minding facilities and any learning that goes on is merely incidental to that main business. As for the secondary sector, well I leave it to people much better qualified than me to comment.

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