Thursday, 25 August 2011

What is being done to our kids ?

It's decision day today for thousands of school-kids who get their GCSE results. And this year my eldest is one of them. 

This comes in the same week that Tony Blair has admitted (kind of) that a generation of kids have been fucked over, and it was announced that the number of "NEETS' has risen to 18%.  'NEETS' being  taken as equating to the index for 'disposable teens' who make up the pool necessary to ensure that a large chunk of the remaining 72% are kept in Mc Jobs. 

And as we are constantly told that GCSEs, A levels, and university entrance are getting progressively easier every year - so the pressure on our kids to excel in order to just get by is becoming ever more intense. 

The two fold effect of this is that at one end of the spectrum there is a joyless approach to education which has little to do with real learning, and at the other, an inevitable sense that if you fall at the first hurdle then you're going to be left on the scrapheap for the rest of your life. Either way it's a recipe for teenage depression or - and this isn't melodramatic - riots on our streets. 

I am so thankful that I grew up in the 80's  when there was still a chance for a smart-arsed slacker like myself to scape through into the hallowed halls of higher education.

I'm also thankful that my daughter did pretty well today - but it does trouble me that she is going to face so many more hurdles to achieve the same. Along the way she is going to face more spoon-feeding, more bullshit, and a greater sense of every little thing mattering than ever I did. But at the same time the actual quality of her education will unquestionably be inferior.

It makes me sad for the kids as individuals, and it makes me angry for society as a whole - every year we are becoming more qualified, and yet also somehow rather less educated.

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