When I were a lad life was a bit more simpler, particularly when it came to education. You learned to read and write, do maths and basic sums in your head and as you moved on in the system picked up some specialisation rather than generalisation. It generally worked, most of us left literate and numerate, we also left fairly disciplined too, turn up for a lesson late without a damned good reason and you were in serious bother, often quite painful bother if you made a habit of it. Afterwards the brightest stayed on in 6th form and tried for Uni, the majority of us though entered the apprenticeship system and more often than not technical college. Bit different for girls, but they had similar career paths mapped out for them till they married and had kids. Yes it’s a fairly generic description, but by and large that’s how it worked for most of us.
What most of us would have been amazed at was if our Uni’s and technical colleges had been ordered to do this…
Universities should be required to teach employment skills as part of degree courses because employers believe too many graduates are unfit for the workplace, researchers said today.
They should offer crash courses in communication, problem solving, presentation skills, punctuality and customer relations to get students ready for full-time employment, it was claimed.
Universities were also told to set up more work experience placements and internships for undergraduates — particularly those on social sciences and humanities degrees — to prevent so many being consigned to the dole queue when they finish courses.
Workplace skills have been part of vocationally-oriented degrees such as engineering for several years.
But the latest study commissioned by Edge, the education charity, warned of a systematic failure to “promote employability across higher education”, meaning a “notable majority” of graduates were unable to function in the workplace.
By the time we reached there we were treated as adults, expected to behave in an adult manner and yes for all we could be a little wild in the evenings and weekends, we had a lot to learn, but nothing like that, because we’d been taught most of that in schools before the age of 16.Unfortunately for the kids of today decades of interference in education by idiot politicians has ruined a fairly robust and reliable system to the point where most kids who want a job are expected to go to Uni, but precious few are actually educated well enough to actually be there.
Back to basics got a bit of a bad name under the Major government (for good reasons) but with schools, that’s exactly what’s needed. Infants should concentrate on the 3 r’s and a program of streaming introduced so that if you can’t read, write or do basic maths, then you can’t progress to the next year.
Concentrate on the basics, then focus on teaching kids how to learn and research data and skills. Science, history and geography as well as a second language could then be introduced to a generation of kids who can find stuff out if they need to know or are simply just curious.
My greatest fear is that politicians, particularly those driven by dogma don’t want a generation prepared to question what’s actually going on or that is smart enough to find out either. The article suggests this is working quite well if employers are having to ask Uni’s to step in.
Education should be far too important to leave to politicians pontificating over, too much in the way of political agendas including equality, diversity and multiculturalism and too little actual education.
Hence the dumbing down and the overburdening of schools to the point where they can’t teach anything well.
All part of the plan no doubt.