Category Archives: Education

The Trouble With School – I

I won’t mince words.

I hold the educational system we have in a fine disdain.

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I think it is a short sighted, shallow façade. And I will explain why over this series of posts.

“But you have been through the same system yourself!” You cry.

Indeed. But owning an ugly car does not keep you from knowing what an ugly car looks like.

The other day I was having a banter with one of the neighbourhood kids, a young lady in Standard 7.

It was without a doubt one of the saddest conversations I have ever had.

She wakes up at 5.00 to put in an hour of study.

She prepares herself for school and is waiting for the bus at 6.15

She has classes from 7 in the morning to 6 in the evening.

She has Saturday classes from 9 to 1.

She has homework daily. Without fail. For at least 2 subjects.

She goes to school for 3 of of the 4 weeks of her April and August holidays.

And she’s only about 13 years.

There is a word for this, ladies and gentlemen. And that word is INSANITY.

Her school bag, which he had with her at the time, was impossibly large and impossibly full. I found it troublesome to carry it myself.

I asked her what she did during her free time.

She looked at me blankly.

“When do you for example, read or cycle for pleasure?” I asked.

She was quite blunt

I have no time for pleasure.

I thought back to my childhood when I was in her shoes.

And thought about riding my bike. And reading Tintin, Asterix, Hardy Boys, Billy Bunter and Alistair MacLean.

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And reading How Things Work and Encycopaedia Britannica. And going for adventures within and without the estate. And making functional cars out of wire hangers and electrical wire.

And climbing trees without thinking about whether it would be possible to climb down as well.

I have no doubt doing all these things contributed heavily to being the man that I am today.

And I am saddened that this unfortunate girl is being denied these very things. And ten years from now society will pay the price for denying her the very essence of being a kid – being a kid.

Believe me. We will pay.

Next: The Trouble with Primary Education