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Over the past 50 years or so the quality of education in Great Britain has continuously deteriorated. There has been too much emphasis on ticking the boxes in multiple choice tests and very little on experiencing the subject being studied. Every child should be competent in the Three Rs, reading, writing and arithmetic. There are many ways for a child to reach a competent level in the aforementioned subjects, however each child's path to competence is different. After all each person is different and it is imperative that this is understood and accommodated.
The basics, Three Rs however are on their own not sufficient enough to develop and advance the thinking of children. School is a place for children to learn the basics of life. Books may impart theoretical knowledge, it is activities like arts, drama, music and sport that enrich children's lives and stimulates their minds and imagination, arts are the building blocks which can help children discover themselves, their talents and teach creative and innovative thinking, allows new ideas, and better ways to get something done. The art in schools enrich, improve, and inspire the students. It speaks a universal language that anyone can understand and learn. It makes the world a more colourful place. Arts make students learn to take decision.
In today’s world of computers, the internet and Xbox, children are not as fit as 50 years ago. Sport helps in many ways to enrich children's lives. It teaches self-awareness, self-discipline, to work together with others on teams understanding others have talents too and how to interact with others. It also teaches self-discipline and analytical thinking especially in individual sports such as tennis, golf, martial arts, boxing, etc. Sports helps to appreciate relationships with new acquaintances. understand the people and their surroundings.
One should not forget that every art form and every sport relies in some way, on some or all of the following, maths, physics, chemistry, biology and geography, the sciences. One of the world's greatest scientists Leonardo De Vinci was also one of the greatest painters. He took the artistic world and gave it science.
A lot of attention is given to exams and testing as a means of gauging student's abilities and knowledge. It is an unsatisfactory method of judging students and doesn't really grasp the capabilities and potential of the individual. An idea would be to let high school students take a year off after O-Levels allowing them to enter the job market or gain experience as an apprentice in a skilled field. This year off would allow them to clarify their future path within education or the workplace.
Student loans are now a fact of further education and going back to the grant system is unlikely to happen. There are 40,000 nursing vacancies in health and care settings in England. Approximately 170,000 out of 1.28M staff are non-British nationality, 13.8% of all staff or almost 1 in 7 holding 200 non-British nationalities. 67,000 are EU nationals. 64,000 are Asian nationals. There are over 20,000 Filipinos working in the NHS.
It would seem wise to support British subjects wanting to become nurses by eradicating the student loan if they serve 10 years in the NHS.
Education is about developing Human Capital – Human capital is an intangible asset or quality not necessarily easily visible. It can be classified as the economic value of a worker's experience and skills. This includes assets like education, training, intelligence, skills, health, and other things employers’ value such as loyalty and punctuality.
More to come on this issue.