Friday, April 22, 2005

Purcell wants to pull Glasgow back together

Well, that's nice of him. And how does he propose to do this?
Speaking in his current capacity as education convener, he says tackling the problem of unemployment and the skills shortage among young people starts in the classroom. "Our schools and our teachers have to understand that they are part of the city’s economy," he says. "Therefore we have to ensure that they are providing our young people with the life skills and the confidence to share in this buoyant economy of Glasgow."
Life skills?
"I think it’s important we stretch the most able children and get the young people into university and higher education. But for those for whom that is not a route, they have the basic life skills to get themselves up in the morning, to dress appropriately, and sell themselves with confidence in an interview. Many of our young people in Glasgow don’t have those skills. We need to work harder at providing our young people with the soft skills employers want."
So my job, it seems, is to provide docile workers for Glasgow's employers. As a believer in a liberal education, I don't buy this of course (hence the strapline) but even if I did, I'm not sure I'm equipped to do so. People talk about compulsory education but the only thing that appears to be compulsory in Glasgow City is attendance; everything else seems to be negotiable. Indiscipline in Glasgow schools is probably the biggest barrier to learning - so how about a bit more support for teachers and schools who attempt to impose some order, only to be frustrated by parents, lawyers, social workers, child psychologists and the other ancillary professionals who apparently deeply and sincerely believe that teachers are the "enemy"?

From the Scotsman

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