Extending the length of school terms and shortening the summer break isn’t going to work. Hundreds of thousands of English school children object to having to go to school as it is. Ergo, by extending the length of terms will only increase their general resentment! You can’t force education down the throats of children who don’t value learning and who believe they are being held captive in a classroom. With the advent of the mobile phone and the Internet, children possess a shorter attention span than ever. It is a fact, fewer school children read now than ever before, and you can’t educate children who refuse to read.
Both the Labour and Tory governments have spent the last twenty years or so messing around with courses. They made ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels easier…that didn’t work. Then they abandoned traditional ‘O’s and ‘A’s and introduce the American ‘SATs’. That hasn’t worked. Governments have spent billions of pounds RE-BRANDING schools, re-naming secondary-moderns and comprehensive schools ACADEMIES, and it remains to be seen whether that will work. My hunch is, it won’t! The money would have been better spent on investing in brand new TEACHING METHODS, which would involve MOTIVATING students to learn. How many schools provide motivational classes? I repeat, you cannot educate children who don’t value education. I remind you, 50 years ago, the British system of education was the ENVY OF THE WORLD!
From my experience, the only groups of children who VALUE education are those that live in Third World countries and who don’t have access to education. Naturally, I’m generalising, but I think I’ve got my points across. It’s the old, old story…things that are free aren’t often valued. The bastardisation of spoken English continues unabated! Of course it doesn’t help when 1 million schoolchildren don’t speak English as a first language! According to the Daily Mail, some 28.5% of primary school pupils and 24.2% of state secondary school children are now from ethnic minority families.
Off topic for a moment! 30 UK universities face possible closure due to falling student numbers. Higher education seems to be pricing itself out of the market. Teenagers are coming to believe £9000 per year probably isn’t money well spent if you take into account the likelihood of finding a job in one’s chosen career. I’m guessing that the 30 universities aren’t PROPER universities, but merely old polytechnics disguised as universities, in the same way that building societies adopted the banking charter and called themselves banks for five minutes. Case in point, Northern Rock!