I've been watching a spot of TV this week. My interest was caught by the Channel Four show about the illiterate children.
Talk about fizzing mad. I was so angry I nearly hopped on a train to start a staff room massacre at the school. Firstly there was the shocking fact that roughly about 7 out of every 28 pupils in a class could barely read, which unsurprisingly causes them to become disruptive. Disruptive! -they have every right to become murderous. No jury in the land would convict them if they tore their teachers limb from limb.
Of course the teachers were full of 'oh it's a deprived area' as if that lets them of the hook. Surely that's all the more reason to try harder to teach the children to read so that they can grow up not to be deprived or at least be deprived and able to express themselves without throwing things. Honest to God if I couldn't read I would have killed someone years ago.
So it is just as well for the teachers on that show that I can read. Their attitudes stank to high heaven. There they sat as if a school full of illiterates was nothing to do with them, whining on about having police and social workers on the phone for various pupils which apparently meant there was limited time to spend on extra tuition. As if any of it couldn't be put off until out with teaching hours. A surgeon wouldn't go interrupting operations to take calls from social workers, I don't see any good reason for a child's education should be disrupted for phone calls of all things.
To be fair once the proper teacher they'd brought in started getting results they became very enthusiastic but until then the sense of priorities in the school was demented.
I seem to recall people at my school being made to repeat years if they weren't managing and in one amazing case of kiddie intellectual fraud, an utter buffoon being put forward a year for being clever. Has that stopped? If so, why? What is the point of dragging children through years of school when they haven't mastered the basics?
Many of the children in the school featured come from pretty horrible circumstances. Surely it is only humane to give them the means to escape. Sadly the 'it's a deprived area' mentality is very much in vogue. People who know better are always excusing all sorts of things with the 'poverty' and 'toddler on a pot' facial expression. I suspect that they mean to look compassionate and clever rather than punchable. I recently complained about a client calling me a cunt and a bitch for no real reason, only to be told I was working in a 'deprived area' as if that explained or excused his ill-mannered outburst.
Mind you the person that gave me the 'poverty' bit is and I am not making this up going to sleep on a church hall floor this weekend eating nothing but rice and dal to learn what life is like in a third world refugee camp. I don't understand it myself, all I can tell you is that you should not exclaim 'oh it's like Marie Antoinette pretending to be a shepherdess' if anyone you know indulges in this type of thing. It vexes them something awful. You shouldn't tell them that you adore rice and dal either, they'll only think you're taking the piss.