Take Me To Your Leader Writer

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...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

When will he ever learn.....

Unfortunately, an awful lot of people in this country don't know the difference between education and passing exams. Even more tragically, one of them is the Education Secretary.
Like many very clever people, Michael Gove doesn't understand that not everyone is as brilliant as he is. In his rarefied world, every young person can do intricate maths, have no problem grasping Greek and Latin, and sail through whatever examination paper is put before them.
He has no insight into how people function because he has no insight into himself. Which is why he is like he is.
I know a bit about exams because I am one of those fortunate people who could pass them without breaking into a sweat. My mother used to half laugh about it - only half because she didn't really like my lack of application.
There are some people - my two youngest daughters, for example - who can't pass exams however hard they work. And work hard they do.
Once you understand this, you realise that passing exams does little more than get you a certificate which you put at the back of a cupboard and forget to take with you when you move.
What is the point of most traditional exams? What do students learn from taking them? What good do they do the individual, the employers who will hopefully hire them, and society? Very little.
GCSEs are far from perfect but by making pupils do course work and by introducing them to a wide range of subjects, some of which they might actually be interested in, they may achieve something really important. And that is to educate the child.
Michael Gove isn't interested in doing that, though. His only concern is to ensure that children lower down the social and intellectual scales are kept firmly in their place. And to establish his own credentials for becoming leader of the Conservative Party.

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