Soldiering on with an ill-disciplined future?
I was talking to an industry CEO recently and he was telling me that his son is a captain in the infantry.
His son has had two tours of duty in Helmand province.
The CEO says that when his son is not on duty, much of his time is taken up with HR duties -looking after the welfare of his men. Twice a week he takes numeracy and literacy classes for men in his troop because a number of them cannot read and write.
What an indictment on our educational system!
I went to the Churchill Theatre this week to see 'Dreamboats and Petticoats', a story about young love in the ’50s and ’60s. The action takes place in a youth club and one of the actors is a father who runs the club. My father-in-law ran a youth club. Yes, he did have some trouble occasionally but that was mostly from youngsters who did not belong to the club.
He never had to undergo a police check.
My parents taught ballroom dancing at my local youth club.
Again, they had no police checks.
Today, it seems to me that there are too many checks. Read about the two policewomen in the papers? They job shared and regularly looked after each other’s children but were told they’d have to stop unless they underwent a criminal records check!
Kids are queuing up to join the scouts but there are few vacancies because there are no scout leaders. Frankly, why would you put yourself through all that aggro?
Times have changed.
Lots of youngsters carry knives and some even guns. Take the story recently of the school teacher who had been constantly harassed by a youngster in his class and lost it, attacked him and is now up in court. Conversely, remember the death of school headmaster, Philip Lawrence, who was killed trying to protect one of his pupils?
There is no discipline in homes or classrooms and youngsters who don’t want to learn often disrupt those who do. In fact, the police seem powerless to arrest young people who harass others. Their answer is more often to arrest the victim who eventually loses it and hits out at the attackers. Well, if you cannot arrest the perpetrator, then criminalise the victim and arrest him or her.
Frankly, I am surprised the teenagers who, allegedly, pushed a firework through the letterbox of woman’s home were arrested and brought to court. (The mother of nine saved her disabled son but died when the house caught fire)
Doesn’t everyone (even rapists) these days get off with a police caution?
And I am not talking about OAPs who refuse to pay their rates as a protest - these old people go straight to jail without passing go!
My point is that without discipline nothing works.
Without discipline youngsters will not take any notice of lessons in school. And (this is going to get me in trouble with the liberals) parents too have to discipline their children. Parents seem all to ready to blame the schoolteacher when their kid is thrown out of class.
As for being expelled, it seems to me that the local education authority only moves the problem to another school or sometimes, the youngster has to be taken back to the original school.
When I talk to contractors for my contractor profile, I always ask the question about apprentices.
There are thousands of kids out there who cannot get jobs. There is a recession on. Social engineering means that up to half the kids coming out of school are pushed to university.
They might as well go as there is no work for them anyway. Many of them will come out with useless degrees.
A friend of mine has a grand-daughter who has a degree in sports psychology. Being very ignorant I asked what that was. My friend explained that it was about teaching sportsmen and women to believe that they can win. (Yes, I know that I have simplified this).
I am not sure how many sports psychologists are needed, maybe she is just unlucky, but she is working on the checkout in Tesco.
Some kids are going for BTEC diplomas in football management.
I wonder. How many football managers have that diploma?
One contractor I spoke to said he took on only guys who were 21 or 22 years olds. It was their last chance to get a job with proper money. And few failed the rigorous 18 months of training.
Contrast this with the Mark Gledhill who was very concerned that some of those who he interviewed for apprentice jobs at his company turned up for the interview in t-shirt and jeans.
He said that he would not have let his son go to an interview dressed like that and didn’t expect his interviewees to turn up like it.
Youngsters get about an hour to sell themselves to an employer and turning up in casual gear doesn’t give a very good impression. Neither does a phone call with: “got any jobs, mate?” to the managing director of the company give a good impression.
But with 50% of school leavers destined for university, why should the rest give much of a damn? Surely better to hang with your friends in the local shopping centre?
Even those who are taken on as apprentices are often having to be taught reading and writing. Which is what I began talking about in this blog.
Our education system is letting down thousands of kids and condemning them to a life without learning.
But this ranting blog is full of contrast. Look at Emma Marshall. She is the CIBSE/ASHRAE Graduate of the Year. She is a building services engineer with RPS Gregory in Newcastle upon Tyne. Perhaps, there is hope for this younger generation that will shape the future.