I’ve just come back from visiting my Froggy folk in Paris.
The Ruck’s are now mostly French, so before anyone starts having a rant about Wellington and kicking Frenchy bums watch out, I’m extremely sensitive where Froggy bashing is concerned, if not manically politically correct – believe this and you’ll believe anything!
So, what a few days it turned out to be.
My little sister (she’s 14 years younger than me, the result of a misguided bout of hanky panky, curlers an’ all according to our father) has a brood of what can only be described as little lumps of delightful flesh. At least they tend to giggle a lot, particularly when the youngest falls into the dishwasher – and before any of you Amnesty International crusaders (and Esther Rantzen) start howling with incandescent anger , the dishwasher wasn’t on!
They all attend Catholic schools, and I can assure you that Loyola’s diktat of ‘Give me the boy and I’ll care not for the man’ is still alive and well in the environs of a Parisian suburb. I looked at their previous efforts of homework and damn me, I couldn’t make out the ink for red splashes of teaching tyranny – all good stuff in my view, a pity our own schools didn’t try some of the same now and again.
As it so happens, I carefully observed the way these little ones were being taught and despaired at the prospects for our own school children. How on earth are they going to compete? How on earth are they going to learn that failure is just a beginning? In French schools even sport is marked, and the parents receive all test/exam results by email before the pupils even get a look in, so no dossing, no crafty prevarication and certainly no bullshit.
Sadly, I simply couldn’t help but conclude that we have simply lost the plot in this country where educating our young people are concerned, and I have no doubt that the future will demand a terribly high price for our negligence.
98% pass rates but passing what exactly? Need I say more.
I apologise for this rather untidy ‘rant’, where possible I try to avoid such self-indulgent diversions but I do feel profoundly for learning and knowledge,for their expression, for their civilising calm but most of all for their understanding.
Our system is at fault not the young ‘uns, and believe me we are doing their young minds grievous bodily harm all in the name of mediocrity, social engineering and an equality that exists only in the minds of the deranged.
PS Oh and I did do plenty of ‘Tippling in Paris’, so did my little sister. Runs in the family I’m afraid.