Forget GCSE’s, now the exam farce has hit the bumper’s. Time for a total re-think of how to make life decisions

I’m short & fat and no matter how hard I exercise, I will never be taller, or slimmer.

Why do people insist that others can become Scientistific geniuses just by having better teachers.

We all have strength’s of different kinds, or our genes wouldn’t have been passed on.

It may be that your particular genes may simply be successful, because you are fecund and have a very strong mothering instinct

Not all genetic strengths may be laudable but they could have their value to human Society. E.g. the genes that produce thieves, help keep down genes that encourage complaceny.

The point that I want to get to is that life roles and education are not one size fits all.

The Tertiary education system had the top 20%  IQ taking the academic route, via Grammar schools, the next 20% taking the artisan route, via technical schools and the rest doing extra literacy and numeracy in Secondary modern schools. This system was a very crude way of selecting an education to match an individuals abilities.

Noticeable failings (mainly exceptions that proved the rule) led to a cry that Secondary moderns were consigning 60% of the population to the scrap heap and that wasn’t fair. It wasn’t true, as the exceptions were those who still went on to higher things e.g. dyslexics such as the founder of Tesco’s and the actress Susan Hampshire.

Whatever the case, it was a crude attempt at fitting children to their adult roles in life, concentrating mainly on the academics, who might go on to achieve Graduate status.

For many Baby Boomers, such as myself, it provided an escape from working class status into the middle classes. As I became a teacher, I was quickly relegated to Working Class status but other’s went on to become banker’s etc.

It was those who became Labour politicians, who closed off that escape route by condemning the Secondary Moderns and calling for the Comprehensive schooling system.

The idea sounded good, in that it amalgamated several schools into larger populations where it was thought that pupils could mix and match study subjects, according to their abilities and talents. Unfortunately Education budgets were never a match for those in the States, which the Comprehensive system had half-heartedly attempted to copy. (American school budgets are about 500% of ours).

The cost of providing technical skills was too expensive, so the CSE was brought in, for those unlikely to reach Graduate level. The CSE was a total failure, in that pupils knew that they were second class, within the school (first class, if within a Technical school, or best in their Secondary School) and book learning does not appeal to those skilled with their hands, or exceptional physiques.

To overcome the disaffection of the majority of pupils and to cater for the predicted lack of labour-intensive industry, New Labour (Blair) came up with the wheeze that the combined GCE and CSE would be dumbed down to cater for all.

Instead of 15% achieving sufficiently good “O”-level grade “C” qualifications, educational standards would be raised so that all but the bottom 15%  (previously bottom 20% were classed as ESN, Special in modern parlance) would achieve this standard. We still needed road sweepers!

Instead of only 5% of the population achieving Honours degrees we’d have 50% going on to Higher education. It’d keep them of the unemployment statistics and if America could have Clown degrees (“Homie the Clown” is the 15th episode of The Simpsons‘ sixth season), why not have degree’s on popular TV soaps?

The truth can’t be hidden anymore, with massive unemployment, evaporating job opportunities and an economic meltdown.

Gove has tried to turn back the clock by saying that he will introduce GCE exams.

Too little, too late and squandering an opportunity to do something more socially useful.

Defer employment until people have tasted life and had a chance to make a suitable career choice. Stop trying to categorise them before they’ve even reached puberty. We all undergo tremendous mental, as well as physical changes between the ages of 11 and 18.

We have to support a large population of unemployed people, why must it be when they are older? Support them until they are in their early 20’s (we stop growing at about 21, from then on we age).

Give them an opportunity to taste what’s on offer including a bit of Hedonism (all first years, on a degree course have always been known as “bloody students”, as they revel in life without parental control).

Let them do some hard labour, clearing waste land and planting trees instead of breaking Council property.

Let them be attached to Public Service units: Police, hospital orderlies, Army, Store orderlies, nursing assistants, receptionists, Admin services etc. on six month turn arounds. These could be attached to employment benefit up-grades or entitlements. They could be certificated as skills qualification’s, with individuals able to gain specific qualifications within that time. The more academically inclined such as Scientists, linguists, musicians, artists and artistes could take on six-month periods of school based training, which they could ditch or progress through, as they felt suited.

Parents/voters aren’t obsessed by GCE’s, they are obsessed with their children’s happiness and ability to maintain that happiness by ensuring for their future.

The rich know that in Britain, as she is Today, the best chance for happiness lies in having attended the best public school and making contacts (institutionalised nepotism) so you get a good (remunerative but not onerous) job.

GCE’s form part of that pathway and, so, the Rich will fight to keep them, at our expense, which is why life progress by examination needs to end. New paths to entrance into The Legal profession, Politics and Medicine need to be explored, which don’t rely on buying your way in, based on the right connections and on paper qualifications, which can be as bogus, as driving test pass.

 

 

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