Blogging Up The Works

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Education, education, education.

I know it's 33 years since I left school and I think probably the only grammar schools left are fee paying but I still do not understand what is wrong in principal with them.

When I was 11 I took my 11 plus exam. Everyone in the borough did. Depending on how well you did you either went to a grammar school or a secondary modern school. Within those two classifications were higher or lower levels school.

By pure chance, I suspect, I ended up at Ealing Grammar and other friends at Walpole Grammar, the next tier down supposedly. We didn't have to pay. It was taken purely on your academic standings. We had pupils from all social classes. Those who weren't particularly good academically went to the secondary moderns where, apart from a good grounding in basic education they did more practical subjects than we did. The idea was that they would become "manual workers". In london this would have been engineers and the trades. The grammar school pupils were meant to go on to university, which I never made, and the secondary modern kids went on to technical college or apprenticeships.

Now of course it is the governments wish that everyone goes to university. So in London you can't get an electrician, plumber or builder for love nor money. That's not true, you can get them for money. Damn large amounts of it and after a long wait. This is why the Eastern Europe immigrant population is flooding in to fill the jobs which no-one here is being trained for.

Why can people not accept that some people are not going to be academically brilliant and it is better to give them a trade they will make money and a career of than making them do something that they are not suited for.

I have the manual dexterity of a retarded wombat but in retrospect, looking back at my life, maybe I would have been better learning how to use my hands and getting a trade than trying to get somewhere academically. On the other hand, I had the intelligence but inate laziness will always overcome that.

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