I have been having a lot of thoughts about our school system. What are the children of today learning? Is what they are being taught fit for purpose? I feel we are too stuck in traditional subjects. Subjects that were taught in Victorian schools.
So what can we do? Well, I think we have to introduce an alternative curriculum. (By the way, my spell checker is working overtime with words like curriculum!). I keep hearing radio programs or reading articles about how unaware the younger generations are in their struggles for living. Why do so few life skills get taught? I know that some schools and courses have attempted this, but perhaps not in the right way. Yes, of course maths and English are important. So is History and the sciences, obviously, but why are humanities and life skills taught in the same way? Why are the Arts a fringe subject? Almost everyone, certainly in the so called, "developed" world, has access to a TV? Sports are a big entertainment, just look at the Super Bowl, but actually why were so many eyes focused on that this weekend from around the planet? Taylor Swift, who is an artist. Art is crucial. Melvyn Bragg was in front of a select committee in parliament last week and put it perfectly.... THE ARTS IS NOT THE CHERRY ON THE CAKE.....IT IS THE CAKE.... Whether you are Taylor Swift, or James Cameron, or Tom Stoppard, or fuck it, Me, you are entertaining people and helping create culture. So, in schools, if you can't pass the science exam or the English exam for that matter (yes, Me again!) there are still things you must learn about life. No one ever taught me about how to manage my life! Mortgages, or taxes, or everyday cooking or jump-starting your car in the cold, changing the tyre, or coping with anxiety, or why it is wrong to objectify, why women's medicine is so far behind or, if you're male...periods! OK, so some of these, maybe all of them are actually taught by some schools somewhere, but why not ALL schools, everywhere. And why faith based schools? Why? It makes no sense to me. That is indoctrination. Surely that is wrong. I am talking about all faiths. Oops, may have opened a can of worms this morning, but I haven't yet heard a coherent argument that I agree with on teaching children religion. Values, yes of course, that is what this little essay is about, but a God or Gods being better than another God or Gods? Come off it.
I believe in Inclusivity, Equality, Friendship and Love, and to teach these things surely all we need is Compassion, Kindness, Generosity and Love.
Let's all be the cake and teach our children, and their children, just how delicious cake can be!