Friday, 7 February 2020

History

As mentioned before, it seems that young people no longer have an idea about history. At least long term history. They might know that there was a war or two and some bombs were thrown but that probably is as far as it goes. When you look at politician's influence in education generally, you will see a woeful picture. There is just an insistence on increasing results probably because that makes politicians look they are doing something but nothing else. It all is just talk. In Wales we have an august body called 'Estyn' only God knows how it operates but apparently they 'judge' performance. You might ask whose performance? Teachers, the good, the bad and the ugly, are in the forefront and yes some are not particularly good. As a father of a secondary Head of Science, from what I hear the performance of headmasters needs urgently looking at. You hear about heads who are mere cookery teachers, have a degree in home economics, or if you have a reasonable one, he or she might have a degree in History. There you have it, that is one reason why young people know zilch about who Stalin was and what he did, or how Peter the Great came to Europe to see the naval organisations so he could build up Russia's navy. But they can boil an egg. I am an avid watcher of some question and answer programmes, like 'Pointless', no it is not pointless only in that the game is to score as few points as you can. But it shows the deplorable standards of education in quite a lot of people. General knowledge, however trivial it might be, is completely absent. 'What is the capital of Belgium'? Belgium? Where is that? Isn't that an element?'. Etc etc etc.
But as a result when you talk to young people on the doorstep, in particular at election time and they want to know who you will vote for and I say the opposite to the party they represent, we get into a how and why. Then it becomes quickly apparent that they have little idea of political failures, broken promises and above all national economics. They merely point out the good old mantra of all socialists, we help people. Yes, to an early grave. Be that as it may, the lack of history, in particular recent history of the last 50 or so years, is a worrying failure of all political parties. We have had failure after failure, and from my standpoint it was mostly attributable to not having learned from the failures that history presented us with. Politicians make the same mistakes time and time again. Question then is - What do our Universities and schools  teach? Well, don't wake up people, drown your sorrows in French cognac before the borders close.  

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