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By Chris Morrison
September 26th 2019
It’s a mystery. Apparently, our children know everything about the chaotic science of atmospheric physics, but in Britain at least one in four think fish fingers come from chickens or pigs. Furthermore, their knowledge of the role of C02 and photosynthesis is encyclopaedic but for some inexplicable reason, almost a third of them think cheese comes from plants.
Such is their knowledge of science that they feel obliged to lecture the adults that their, sorry, your extravagant lifestyle is going to end in a climate fireball in 12 (fill in days or years, according to preference) time. They are so sure of the “settled” facts that they follow a child prophet in Sweden who assures them that she has “superpowers” and can see what is invisible to mere mortals or adults, namely the demon gas carbon dioxide.
How obliged the adults are to the little brutes, especially their teachers who don’t have to work when they all go out on “strike”. The Guardian, a comic for slighter older children, applauds their commitment and a woman called Claire Perry said she would join them if she was 40 years younger. At the time Ms Perry was described as the energy secretary but this was surely a mistake since the children don’t seem keen on 85% of our supply and want to replace it with medieval windmills.
The fish finger findings are from a recent survey from the British Nutritional Foundation and came with a comment about the need to “improve teaching about cooking and healthy eating”.
Well, the need to improve “teaching” in British schools has been long evident. Who can forget a few years back when reality celeb Chantelle Houghton stated that she thought the sun and moon were the same. Over a decade in the state education system and she thought that the sun turned into the moon when it got dark! And recently Love Island cutie Hayley Hughes, proud owner of three ‘B’ grades at A level, didn’t know the difference between a country and a continent.
It is easy to mock individual examples but the real culprit is the British education establishment which has dumbed down the syllabus, removed the requirement for critical thought and concentrated instead on brainwashing our infants with extremist anti-science, anti-community and family liberal dogma.
Of course, the children know that global warming is destroying the planet because that is what they are taught in their geography lessons. (Countries and continents being so last century.) Do they learn in science that the current warming is nothing out of the ordinary and has been observed hundreds of times in the past? No. Does history give them any idea of the concept of time and events and the knowledge that pinning long term natural climate change on individual weather events is just about the dumbest thing you can do? Of course not.
If you compare an ’O’ level maths paper from the 1960s with today’s GCSE offering you will be amazed. Almost anything presenting difficulty such as calculus has been removed leaving those with a basic knowledge of quadratic equations and arithmetic able to pass with ease.
Anyone who has been in business knows that educational standards have been falling in this country for decades. I ran a publishing company during the 1990s and within a few years became aware that English and maths qualifications at GCSE were more or less worthless. We took to giving small tests to prospective employees asking them to divide two numbers into three or correct a piece of writing.
None of it was very reassuring while the question that asked what two countries were separated by the Channel Tunnel would have come as a surprise to the people who lived in places like Scotland and Germany.
One suspects closing and looting the private schools, abolishing Ofsted and handing control of the whole enterprise to the teaching unions will not improve standards very much. Nevertheless, if you are Marxist, Labour and in hock to the teaching unions, that is precisely what you intend to do.
But if you want to see what happens when the whole system is run as a public sector cartel, you can look no further than the vast number of seats of unlearning now masquerading as universities.
Again your correspondent has had some direct experience of the dire nature of some of the teaching at these places. Having sold my publishing business, I briefly and unwisely signed up for a music course at Kingston University. Around 70% of first-year undergraduates couldn’t read a note of music, one of them didn’t know what an interval was, none of them had heard of the English composer Henry Purcell, although one asked if it washes whiter (it might have been me).
I was reliably informed that five of the 10 students awarded a first-class degree around this time could barely read music. One of the most popular courses after three years – why, of course, the undergraduate teaching certificate!
For the sector as a whole charging £9,000 a year for six weekly hours of tuition over half a year for often useless degrees is a bubble awaiting its pin. Perhaps the young – and not so young – are finally starting to work out that they are being conned.
But perhaps they are stuck with the system since most employers require a degree. Perhaps they know it is all a con as well but assume that with nearly 20 years of full-time education their prospective employees might have learnt basic English and arithmetic.
Why it’s almost as useful as that encyclopaedic knowledge of atmospheric physics.