It seems that yet again the standard of teaching, schooling and testing is being questioned. This time it is the test for 11-year-olds that has found itself in the cross-hairs.
More than two million children sat the tests, which include reading, writing, spelling and handwriting as part of an overall examination of English language skills. The results seem to be somewhat disheartening as apparently fewer than half of our children can spell words such as 'effortless' and 'participate' says the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).
The Times is seriously unimpressed, and understandably so. "Some spelt them as 'efortless' and 'partisipate', while 'knowledge' became 'nolege' and 'thoroughly' was submitted as 'thuruly'".
Head teachers suggest that "Poor teaching practices" are among the reasons for spelling horrors in last year's national English tests; a warning also made by Ofsted, the education watchdog.
The Times prints some remarkable statistics as a result of the analysis by the QCA. Of 215 entries who reached Level 4 (the effective pass mark), 32.5% could spell 'rehearsed' and only 12% could manage to spell 'thoroughly' correctly.
One wonders what the causes might be, and it is easy enough to point the finger of blame at the teachers, but one must surely wonder what has prevented these children from learning. After all, national targets ensure that all children are offered the same curriculum. Well, it is not only the teachers that need to be looked at, the parents have a burden of responsibility here too.
How many of these children have ever read a book, I wonder? How many use a computer for anything other than playing the latest hit game? Do children ever write letters anymore?
Even these tests have been slammed for being made increasingly easy and worthless. If this is the case, what of the future generations?
In a society where increasing areas are being dumbed down, I can't help but feel that unless something is done soon we will have a generation of people on our hands who will communicate in TXT and would only see a pen and paper being used in old films.
Something needs to be done, and quickly.
Categories: Speaking Out