Saturday, April 20, 2013

another stunning, new education policy…

Michael Gove’s been at it again (surely not?)…
This time it’s about “longer school day and shorter holidays”.
Apparently, according to education guru Gove, our schools need to adopt this approach because it’s the way they do it in south-east Asia.
Sadly, I think the real reasons he wants to introduce this policy are that, magically, a) they mirror the long-hours culture of the workplace (oh, excellent!); b) they keep children at school (or should that be “child-minding” centre?) for longer and this will be less inconvenient for busy working parents; and c) he doesn’t like teachers.
Perhaps he should introduce compulsory boarding school for ALL children instead?
I find his “thinking” SO wrong that it’s almost funny – except that he’s dealing with children’s and families’ lives here.
It would be very easy (ie. about as easy as Gove finds introducing education policies?) to provide a lengthy list of objections to the education secretary’s latest “initiative”. I’m not even going to try, but I would offer the following brief thoughts:
1.       The concept of “quality family time” has clearly been kicked into touch by Gove (where would families find the time for this, given Gove’s new timetable?).
2.       After-school clubs are a very important way for children to get to enjoy important “non-lesson” activities outside the curriculum… and these include sports, music, language, science, IT, technology, art, drama, dance (actually, the list is HUGE). If you extended the school day, all these would be lost. How else would school theatrical productions, sports matches, concerts and the like happen? Answer: they wouldn’t – because there wouldn’t be time available.
3.       Everyone knows that teachers have it INCREDIBLY easy (of course!) and have far too much time on their hands. Clearly, they don’t need to prepare any of their lessons in advance or mark homework or meet parents… and, on top of all that, they just love dealing with badly misbehaving children – so a couple of extra lessons will come as a godsend. Actually, come to think of it, lots of the behavioural problems can be put down to poor parenting so, if children spend LESS time with their parents, and more time at school, then things are bound to improve massively!
Gosh, that Mr Gove is a very, very clever man… quite brilliant.
I could go on…

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