Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Educational annoyances #435

Listen fatso, as part of the government's latest Eat-Your-Greens initiative, Mr Balls wants you to stop going to the chippie and make a salad instead, ok? Alright, it's too late for you but your children?
"Compulsory cooking lessons for teenagers at schools in England are on the menu today as the government seeks to counter childhood obesity."
But history will continue to be voluntary, I'd imagine? Don't get me wrong - I'm not one of those people who thinks a subject is important in direct proportion to its practical irrelevance. But as with everything this government does in education, things are never to be taught as ends in themselves. Kids aren't to be furnished with knowledge and skills, which they can then go and do whatever the hell they want with. Like make a big fuck-off chocolate cake, for example. Oh no, they've to be taught cookery so they'll eat what's good for them.
"Balls wants members of the public to suggest healthy, easy to prepare dishes that teenagers will want to eat."
Mr Balls, like so many people presently fucking about with the education system, is clearly one of these people who have had teenagers described to him: you can get healthy meals that are easy to prepare and you can get easy to prepare meals that teenagers will eat - but I think finding a dish that combines all three of these requirements might prove to be rather more difficult than Mr Balls seems to think, as I'm sure anyone who has teenage children will testify.

Anyway, I'm beginning to wonder if this whole 'school-choice' thing might not be a bad idea. We could have a choice between schools - and institutions that have dropped even the pretence of being schools and have been rebranded as 'socialisation centres' instead. Then we could see who wins. I reckon most people would opt for the former, having the understanding that these tend to teach stuff that later on turns out to be transferable. Like reading, for example:
"[Ed Balls] told the Daily Mirror: "Teaching kids to cook healthy meals is an important way schools can help produce healthy adults. My mum was passionate about all this and bought me my first Delia Smith book.""
I'll leave it there with Mr Balls kinda making my point for me.

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