Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Educational disgrace

Education ministers should be ashamed. 20% of 11-year-old pupils, particularly boys, fail to reach the basic skills level in English by the time they leave primary school. This is despite "English [being] one of the best taught subjects in primary and secondary schools". No wonder social mobility is declining when reading and writing are such important life skills.

Should ministers consider requiring children to repeat academic years if their standards of literacy and numeracy are not good enough to move up a year with the rest of the class? Secondary schools should not be expected to provide remedial lessons for failures in a child's primary education.

5 comments:

Devil's Kitchen said...

Education ministers should be ashamed? What are they going to do: bribe the kids with more iPods? How many iPods can one kid have...?

No, it is the teachers, and the parents, who should be mortally ashamed: children are leaving primary school being unable to read and write their own language, and English is one of the best taught? The mind boggles.

DK

Snafu said...

DK, I accept your point about teachers being the immediate problem. However, education ministers are ultimately responsible for the system in which teachers operate.

If there are failings, and I think there are many, the managers should take the blame, not the staff. The managers choose the staff and systems afterall!

Devil's Kitchen said...

The trouble is that many teachers, under the aegis of the teaching unions, have contributed in a big way to the way in which the system is run.

Was it a minister who came up with the idea of "deferred success"? Was it a minister who decided - on my last sports day in a state school, aged 8 - that there were to be no prizes for any of the races because that would imply that some people were better than others?

Not that I am letting any governments off the hook; I am just pointing out that they have been aided and abetted by those who have the closest contact with the ignorant little gits that we churn out of our "educational" establishments these days.

DK

Snafu said...

DK, teaching unions are fair game! Their interests, quite naturally, are solely for the well-being of their members.

Unfortunately, those 'interests' are not always aligned with the needs of children and their parents. Their only voice are ministers.

Ministers should remember this when dealing with the unions, otherwise they let the electorate down.

Stevo in HCM said...

Parents should know (if they take the trouble to read them)thru the kids school reports where the child is at in all subjects, a responsible and this is the key word here parent should discuss with the teacher if the child should be held back to repeat the previous year.
My daughter is in a fee paying International school where I have never seen any stigma attached to repeating the previous grade, in fact as she had missed a great part of 4th grade because of medical treatment I went and suggested that she repeat. Also my kids school has no position on some league table to shoot for.