Dr Alf’s remedy (in response to the UK government‘s latest reform proposal) will work in part but there is a bigger problem. Unless we achieve 3% economic growth, we will never get back to full employment and with a more or less open door to migrants from the EU, 80% of the jobs that are available will go to better motivated and qualified migrants in any event.
The problem with our UK state education system is that it is 44th in the world and slipping backwards.
Our teachers are not of the right standard and teaching now has to be “fun” with lessons delivered with “wow factor ” to keep the spoiled youngsters interested and engaged.
The British school-day is too short and insufficiently demanding and does not turn out people who are ready for the demands of either modern working life or academia. It runs from 8.45 am to 3.45 pm and has far too many holidays and half terms.
In contrast, South Korea which has the 2nd best State education system in the world has just reduced the school-day to 12 hours from 17 hours a day. The pace of learning is intense, discipline is rigorous, homework has to be done and teachers have to do their jobs.
Go to Hong Kong or Singapore which are joint 3rd and 4th in the world and the same intensive regime applies and people can only take degrees in economically useful subjects subject to passing a GMAT test and reaching a level of proficiency in Mandarin.
In China, 650 million people are learning English, in Sweden pupils learn up to 3 languages plus their own.
To get a grip, the State education system needs to be radically overhauled along with annual holiday entitlements for the population.
The prescription would involve tough medicine:
- Fire all 15,000 incompetent teachers and all trendy heads
- De-recognize all the teaching unions and place all teachers on a new contract
- Import replacement teachers from countries with better education systems than ours
- Increase the school-day to 8 hours with homework on top and compulsory catchup classes from 9.00am to 4.00 pm on Sundays for slow learners or deliberate laggards
- Replace teachers who refuse to cover these hours
- Bring in former Army Officers as Heads and create an American style “Troops to Teachers” program to inculcate discipline. (The teachers who are ex US Army personnel produce far better results than conventional classroom teachers)
- Reduce annual holiday entitlements to 4 weeks including Bank Holidays until worker productivity rises to best in breed levels
- Better GCSE results are forthcoming in very short order
- Remove children from the 120,000 or so dysfunctional families and send them to a boarding school run on military lines and with a school-day starting much earlier with a bed inspection, a good breakfast( children in dysfunctional families come to school malnourished because the feckless parents claim not to be able to afford the food), very early assembly and PE before the commencement of lessons.
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