Saturday, March 14, 2009
Here's a little vignette to warm the cockles of your heart - or not, as the case may be!
This concerns my wife's younger sister's daughter, my niece I suppose, although I do not know much about her as she is a very morose teenager with little or no communications skills. She hardly ever (actually, never) interacts with me on the few occasions I have met her. Apparently, she is a strongly committed vegetarian who wants to work with animals. Fair enough. However, she has had an undistinguished academic experience at school and consequently only has a few GCSEs at A to C level - in fact, mostly at 'C' or below. But she was sufficiently motivated to stay on at school in the sixth-form. Good for her you might say.
But, by last Christmas she became de-motivated and dropped out of school. Now, I am not sure what happened to cause this, other than it appears the workload she and her fellow students were given was so minimal that they spent more time on "home study" than in actual lessons. (Amazing! When I was in the sixth-form we were expected to spend all day in school attending classes or studying in the library.)
So, how does she spend her time these days? Well, she has signed on at the local Job Centre Plus so she can claim job seekers allowance. (Whether she passes on any of these payments to her parents who are still funding her I do not know.) She says she is going to apply for a further education course in September which will help her gain the basic qualifications she needs if she wants to work with animals in the future.
Her aunt (Mrs Ted - who is of the old school, like me) suggested to her the other day that she might consider looking around for a job instead of sitting around on her (thin) arse all day and sponging off her parents. (Pulls no punches, does Mrs T!)
We heard today that she was called in for her fortnightly interview with Job Centre Plus and they had found her the ideal job. Two hours office cleaning on Sundays paying £5.00 per hour which would be deducted from her JSA!
So there we have it. This is Brown's Britain. A 17 year-old girl, not particularly academically inclined or interested, encouraged to stay on in an education system that is unable to deliver what she is capable of achieving; a Government-run job placement service that doesn't have any real jobs to offer; and a generation of under-educated and under-achieving young people who are not equipped with the skills and aptitudes that they will need to create a brighter future for themselves.
And then we have Ed Balls saying it's nonsense to say GCSEs are not sufficiently rigorous. Not only is he and Brown deluded but they will stand accused "in the court of public opinion" of perpetuating the underclass generation.
Shame on them!