Archive | April, 2015

How well are we doing educationally as a nation?

13 Apr

When we read articles in the press about the standards of children in schools, it is difficult to believe that several countries look to this nation as a shining example of educational practice. Yet it is true. In particular, England’s educational practice, especially the curriculum, qualifications and pedagogy, is the envy of most countries the world over.

I recall years ago, working as a sub-editor for The Statesman, an English daily in Calcutta, India, when a journalist with the most putrid English one could find East of Suez, boasted to fellow hacks that he was “Oxford-returned”.  I asked him what he meant by “Oxford-returned”.  He replied that he had been to Oxford.  I decided not to pursue the matter, knowing full well that, with his poor English, he most likely went on a visit to the town and its university to take a boat ride on The Thames rather than for purposes of study – a case of the cat going to see the Queen and frightening the little mouse under the chair.

The point I am trying to get across is that Oxford and Cambridge – like the education school, FE and HE systems – are highly valued in countries like India.   Parents, in the East and Far East, sacrifice much to get their progenies to study here.   Continue reading

What do the major parties have to offer schools?

13 Apr

Election fever is gripping the nation and no party appears to be sure of winning the next general election.  The time has come, consequently, to review briefly the educational policies of the three major political parties so as to enable all those in the thick of delivering the service have the opportunity reflect on who would be best for education.  Continue reading