Opinion – How Millennials today compare with their grandparents 50 years ago – Pew Research – John Gelmini

English: Chart showing percentage of students ...

English: Chart showing percentage of students achieving 5+ GCSEs at grade A*-C (including maths and english) in Bishop Auckland secondary schools compared to national and Durham LEA averages. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Alf is correct in that today’s Millennials differ radically from those of earlier years, in that their values are completely different and they labour under a different education system, which in the UK has not caught up with those of at least 23 better ones in the world.

A Millennial of Dr Alf’s day had to have a basic grounding in literacy, numeracy, geography, history and at least one science, ideally physics, chemistry or for girls, biology. In those days, many students also learned Latin, the basis of many European languages. The pupils of that era were taught by male teachers in the main and were not molly-coddled or wrapped in cotton wool. Exams were things you had to study for and pass at a decent level, ideally through a hard exam board.

In the 1960s, the Comprehensive system was brought in by Baroness Shirley Wiĺliams and the system of selection started to be watered down in the state sector.

The old days of GCEs were abolished in 1988 because too few boys passed them at a reasonable level or at all.

GCSEs were born, quickly followed by an explosion in the number of woman teachers and a reduction of men, many of whom had actual experience of military life during World War II. Discipline became eroded,”everyone had to win prizes”, useless degrees abounded, education became dumbed down under the rule of Kenneth Baker and even more under Blair and Brown.

Today’s Millennial is a creature conditioned by the age in which we live, whereby top footballers, reality tv stars, city traders and internet millionaires, personalities and businesspeople, are able to earn huge amounts of money for doing seemingly very little, paying no tax on it and hiding it offshore. They do not for the most part, want to work at anything but expect instead to be delivered it on a plate. For them there is little point in learning basic facts if by Googling their smartphones they can find the answer. Why study they reason if you can Google your coursework and engage in plagiarism and cheating as long as you can get away with it. When they see top businesspeople plundering banks, pension funds and the assets of zombie companies and they see corruption in local authorities, they reason that if no-one gets punished, goes to prison or money gets recovered that all the talk about ethics, doing the “right thing” etc is just so much old-fashioned hokum.

What we have as a result is non job ready youngsters who think the world owes them a living who are lazy, unproductive and useless to themselves or others.

There are exceptions amounting to 20% of the whole but with insufficient jobs and a lack of language skills social problems are multiplying as is the country’s inability to mobilize for war.

John Gelmini

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