I recently made the dreadful error of chatting to a primary teacher. It's not that she wasn't pleasant she was lovely, mumsy, enthusiastic and just the sort of person you'd want to leave your seedlings with. However I'm afraid she was the bearer of bad news and with hindsight I think I might have come close to shooting the messenger on a few occasions.
As always when confronted with a member of the teaching profession I quiz them as to why even otherwise intelligent folk are leaving school illiterate. I did expect her to get all defensive so that I could torture her but was surprised to note she entirely agreed with me. Like I say obviously the sort of person you'd want in charge of your kids. No sniggering at the back I get along very well with our short friends once they pass the dribbling stage. At heart I am a five year old with a cocaine habit.
Anyway my teaching chum informs me that at least twenty minutes of valuable teaching time are lost each day because the teacher has to supervise the children brushing their teeth after lunch. It is just as well I am not a parent because I would most likely tear up to the school and accuse the teacher of being a nonce for such an act. Then it would be explained to me that they are only following orders and I'd feel like a crumb. Apparently in order to tackle the admittedly appalling dental record in the west of Scotland it has been decided that all children should be forced to brush their teeth once a day in school.
I've no objection to folk brushing their teeth but this is either social crisis management on the cheap or a waste of time. If we are in fact sending children out of school to homes where no-one cares whether or not they clean their teeth, then we are sending them home to unfit parents. In which case tooth decay is merely a symptom of a much deeper problem. As far as I can make out nothing much is being done to tackle that. Would it not be more productive to let teachers give the young things the best possible education, which would endow them with the means to escape their deprived circumstances? If a bit of dental health education is required then give the parents and children dental advice via after school clubs or special one off lessons. Schools are there to educate folk not wet nurse them and if there really is a problem then isn't that we pay social services for?
As if all that wasn't bad enough from August yet more classroom time is to be wasted giving children in primary one, sex education. The theory behind this is that if the kiddiewinks know the facts of life from age five then by the time they get to their teens they won't be all that excited by sex. Which rather overlooks hormones, nature, curiosity and the decent teenager's innate irresponsibility -none of which can be educated out of existence.
In addition to the bare bones of the mating racket, the kiddiewinks have to be treated to education on same sex relationships. Lord knows why. I managed to have sex with a woman at fifteen without any pointers on lesbian sex from my teachers. If I do say so myself it was one of my better performances. Mind you if the teachers had supplied us with lube, toys and a decent porno it might have been better but I doubt it. Cheers Aliesha! I made my heterosexual debut at the same age without making any real errors, though if I had my time over again I'd have removed my bra and locked the bathroom door. The scandal I caused has I am certain gone down in Shawlands legend, which is outrageous. All I did was sit on the cistern with my legs akimbo it was the chap that did all the work and yet no-one called him a slag. No sex education in the world can prepare you for that sort of injustice.
I should stress if you haven't guessed already I have no moral objection to sex education. I just don't see the point. Teach folk to read, write, do maths and be responsible for their actions -the rest will follow.