So here we are in 2019 and I can’t help but wonder where the time has gone in the last…well…, at least the last decade. Time IS moving faster than ever isn’t it?! (Probably not scientific fact but ya know).
This summer will mark TWENTY YEARS since I did my GCSE’s and then left secondary school to venture into the big, bad world alone.
But thinking back to my schooldays has kind of made me a bit sad as well as a bit annoyed. I’m sad and annoyed that school didn’t even somewhat prepare me in any way, shape or form for adulthood.
Sure, it wasn’t the worst experience ever, and of course I look back fondly at certain things from that time in my life. But I feel as if I could’ve learned so much more from school, if only it’d been on the curriculum and actually taught to me and my classmates.
I can’t comment much on what may or may not be on school curriculums in this day and age, as I’m 20 years over the hill now. But I can’t help but feel that what we were taught, just wasn’t enough.
I didn’t underperform at school by any means. I was in what was called the ‘top set’ for almost all of my subjects (not sure if these still even exist anymore) and passed all of my GCSE’s with grades A* to C. I had a lot of potential according to my teachers. And maybe I did/do. But as I’ve discussed in a previous post, sadly nothing really interested me enough to pursue it at university.
What I’m talking about here though is a separate issue than going to uni for further study and to hopefully build a successful career.
I’ve been watching a lot of news coverage in recent months in regards to Brexit and it’s made me realise one thing: I know absolutely NOTHING about what it really entails. To be fair, it looks as if half of Parliament don’t either…
But seriously. I hear terms such as ‘free movement’, ‘single market’, ‘backstop’ and ‘customs union’ bandied about and it just goes right over the top of my head. I WISH I knew more about it.
Back in 2016 when we were given the choice of voting in or out, I felt as if I wasn’t informed enough to make the decision. So rather than not vote (I would NEVER do this), I took to the good ol’ world wide web to help me. I researched as much about it as I had the time to do but still found it really confusing. As stated earlier, I did fairly well at school and I don’t consider myself to be unintelligent, but nothing appeared to be in layman’s terms. The more I read, the more confused I ended up.
But seeing some of the faces who were campaigning for ‘Team Leave’ – Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove (urgh x3) – was enough to convince me that remaining was the right way to go.
As we all know (unless you’ve been living on Mars for the last two and a half years), remain lost and now we’re all in this gigantic mess. I’m not going to wax lyrical about why the decision may be wrong or anything like that. But the fallout from the leave vote has definitely left me feeling as if Politics HAS to be taught in schools. From conversations with family and friends, I know I’m not the only one struggling to understand it all.
Of course it would have to be taught in as unbiased a way as possible. It wouldn’t be right for any teacher to stand in front of a class and say “Party X is great, whilst Party Y are terrible”. No child should be influenced in this way. But what SHOULD be taught are at least the basics. For example:
• What is a general election?
• How does a party win a general election – e.g. how seats work, the first past the post process and so on?
• What is a referendum?
• What is a hung parliament?
• Or I dunno… how about how important it is to actually bloody vote in the first place??!!
It isn’t just politics being taught that I feel strongly about. Where are the other subject areas about actual LIFE? About things that will effect each and every one of us in adulthood?
We should be taught about the value of money, savings accounts, applying for a mortgage (if this is what you want), interest rates, credit scores, how to change a tyre, global warming, saving the planet, recycling, how to check your boobs for lumps, how to check your balls for lumps… do you see where I’m going with this?
I’ve always thought that First Aid should be taught in schools too and I’m happy to see that apparently, this will be implemented from 2020 – yay!
I’m not trying to dismiss important, fundamental subjects such as maths and English at all. But my God, weren’t we taught some utter rubbish at times?! (Prime example at the end of this post)*
There’s a lot of negative press out there in regards to ‘millennials’ and the ‘snowflake generation’ (I can’t bear either of these labels by the way), but maybe we’d be in a different boat if we’d been properly educated? And sure, maybe none of these things were taught way back in the day either but going forward, I truly believe that there is a dire need for these subjects to be on curriculums up and down the country. Anyone agree?
* I’m going to leave you now with a photo of a genuine certificate I was given in secondary school at 15 years of age. Who cares if I don’t understand what Brexit means for my country, so long as I can rustle up a good full English eh?!! (Despair)