For a long time I have been of the firm opinion that our education needs a good old shake-up. I am of the firm opinion that too much emphasis is placed on league tables, SATS and any other monitoring system which is thrown at pupils and teachers.
Reading that young children of 7 of put under so much pressure and are getting depressed because they fear the repercussions of not doing well in their SATS tests is depressing to read. Kids of 7 should be enjoying life, enjoying school, not laden with worry that they might not do well in tests.
Children aged seven and 11 take the tests at the end of key stage 1 and 2 in primary school. More than four in five (81%) primary school leaders surveyed said they were more worried about their pupils’ mental health during assessment periods now than they had been two years ago.
Over two-thirds (68%) said they believed changes to the curriculum and school performance measures over the same period had had a negative impact on children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Of course we had tests at school, but we were never under this much pressure and to pressurise kids to the point where some of them are on anti-depressants or taking their own lives is criminal.
How many times have I used Sine or Cosine or Algebra since I left school nearly 44 years ago… hold on let me think… NONE.
We as a human race are NOT identical… some of us are more practical and hands on whilst some excel in academia. And our education system as it stands today DOES NOT cater for those that struggle with being academic.
Yes we all need to read, write and do basic maths… and we should stick to these core subjects so that each pupil can do basic maths, read and write. However, if a child is good at sports, for instance, surely we should nurture that. And not force them into a state of total despair where they are struggling to keep up with academic subjects.
If you don’t understand what is being said in the classroom, and teachers don’t have the time to teach you one to one until you understand; then you are going to struggle, become disruptive and act the clown to cover up your own ineptitude. You are going to become the classroom joker rather than admit you don’t have a friggin clue what is being taught.
Michelle Dewberry is an advocate for Technical Colleges… she wrote in the Hull Dailly Mail:
“I want to help raise awareness for UTC’s as they’re so good. They are for 14 to 19 year olds and they make me really excited because the kids that will go there are the future.
“The skills they learn there will help them stand out to employers. They will gain specialised skills that are relevant to the world of work.
And this is the direction our education system needs to aim towards.
I have known in my life time people who have degrees in Geography becoming Assistant Managers in Department Stores. Sorry but you don’t need a degree to work on a shop floor. People who have worked in the store from day one… who know what customers want, people with a good rapport with customers and who can take on responsibility of becoming an assistant manager should be the people that get promoted.
Bringing in people with a degree that isn’t even related to the Job they are going to do is just employing a person because they went to University and not because of the skill and experience they have in business.
No matter what way you look at things, we need carpenters, builders, plumbers, metalworkers, hairdressers to name but a few. We as a society couldn’t survive without these people fulfilling their tasks and these are the tasks that are needed in the work place. And these jobs should be studied at school. We need to come away from only academic subjects being taught in schools and veer towards studies that relate to our future working environment.
A child that can’t comprehend academic subjects but excels at being practical and being able to work with their hands and good at bricklaying should be encourage to excel in their abilities of being a builder instead of being forced to sit in a classroom and get stressed because they don’t understand algebra for instance.
Our education system needs overhauling and overhauling fast. And until we accept the fact that University is not the be all and end all of life… then nothing will change. Why we can’t have work related subjects in schools or technical colleges I don’t know. A degree doesn’t make you wise and most of the time unless you are going to use your degree, say in medicine or law, it means diddly squat. All it does is saddle you with a load of debt that you have to pay off.
We really need to get away from this ideology that you can only succeed in life if you have a degree. Because believe me… you don’t need a degree to earn a decent income and excel at your chosen profession. What you need is the opportunity to excel.