“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
“Education is light, lack of it darkness.”
Teaching is a great vocation and a vitally important one for society. It’s a pity that the politicians didn’t realize that and devote a bit more of their time and our money towards improving the salaries of the teachers and raising the level of education of the pupils.
I know a lot of people would say what use is learning stuff like history or economics or having to read some high-brow literature in which you have little or no interest. But learning is, or rather used to be, about discovering how to think, how to retain information and how to apply what you have retained in other situations.
In other words developing a bit of common sense and the ability to think you way out of or around problem situations. The brain is like a muscle, the more exercise it gets and the more you use it the more efficient it becomes.
Sadly, we have reached the intolerable stage where, instead of the logical progression of standards being set just a little bit higher each year, the very opposite is occurring. Educational standards are dropping every year, and not by a little either.
Exam passing statistics have become a worthless joke. University degrees have been similarly devalued.
Nowadays, if you’ve got money and no brains you’ll get all the degrees and qualifications you want. If you got brains to burn and no money then the educational establishments don’t want to know you. If you get anywhere you have to rely on getting a scholarship to a good school, or working two or three jobs to gather up the money.
A few years ago I was having a meal with a Professor of mine from University days. “How are things with you?” I asked casually as you do, expecting to hear the standard answer like “Fine, what about you?”.
But instead I got a heartfelt reply that went like this.
“Things are terrible,” he started. “The kids these days don’t seem to want to learn anything. They, or their parents pay a lot of money to send them to college and they just don’t seem to care any more. Thank goodness I have only a few more years to go until I can retire. It’s just not the same any more. You have no idea how the standards have dropped. There is no comparison to when you were there.”
On further inquiry I found out that it was not just the kids, the Universities themselves were partly to blame. Everything now was money driven. There were not the same government assistance programs, the standard of the students being accepted was declining rapidly, very few of them even had the basics of a good education any more and the emphasis was on attracting overseas students, many of whom could only speak a little bit of English and could write even less – because the fees the Universities could charge them were a lot more than for the indigenous variety.
If you think about it, it is a self-defeating spiral downwards. Teaching standards get lowered - students get a poorer education - some of them become teachers themselves - they know less than their predecessors - their pupils therefore can only learn less - some of them become teachers - etc., etc., etc.
I’m wondering now if it can actually reach the stage where nobody knows anything, but when I think about some of the stuff in this blog, maybe we’re already getting close, too close???
Need more proof?
Try this lot of answers from the British GCSE. This is an examination given to sixteen year olds, who by that age should know at least the basics of things. Judge for yourselves from these answers (the spelling mistakes are all theirs):
Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.
The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, “Am I my brother’s son?”
Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.
Solomom had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.
The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.
Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.
Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.
In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java.
Eventually, the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long.
Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out: “Tee hee, Brutus.”
Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his subjects by playing the fiddle to them.
Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was cannonized by Bernard Shaw. Finally Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offense.
In midevil times most people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the futile ages was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote literature.
Another story was William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son’s head.
Queen Elizabeth was the “Virgin Queen.” As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted “hurrah.”
The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened and catapulted into Napoleon. Napoleon wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn’t have any children.
The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West.
Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. She was a moral woman who practiced virtue. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.
The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men.
Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species. Madman Curie discovered radio. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx brothers.
It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. And Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper.
The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet. Romeo’s last wish was to be laid by Juliet.
Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.
The First World War, caused by the assignation of the Arch-Duck byan anahist, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.
During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe.
Later, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean, and this was called Pilgrim’s Progress. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.
One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. Finally the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis. Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backwards and declared, “A horse divided against itself cannot stand.”. Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.
Soon the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.
Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. Lincoln’s mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor. This ruined Booth’s career.
Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltaire invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy.
Gravity was invented by Issac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn when the apples are falling off the trees.
Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German half Italian and half English. He was very large.
Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.