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Friday, February 20, 2009

Primary school education needs more tinkering from non-teachers

The nation’s teachers should be told to stop doing what they think they’ve been told to do, and start doing what they’ve been told not to do as soon as someone tells them what they should be doing.

Primary schools up and down the UK are failing children by trying to teach them to read and write, a new report says. Attempts to ensure that kids can add up and write a simple sentence are distracting from a more broad-based arts education that will help them to become over-aspiring Media Studies graduates according to Professor Robin Alexander of Cambridge University.

“Books should be burned, man” he told us after taking a hit from a badly made can bong. “The children should spend the day doing expressive dance and crawling under desks to find their true selves. Instead of lunch in the main hall, they should be allowed to go outside and forage from the trees, the beautiful trees.”

In addition, Prof Alexander wishes to reorganise the hugely bureaucratic curriculum into a simplified form of bureaucratic nonsense. His report recommends over-arching “areas of learning” such as talking bollocks, cowering in the corner, disputing every word, and weeing on the floor. Meanwhile, geography and history will be renamed “place and time”, with science and technology becoming “fish and chips”.

Schools Secretary Ed Balls defended the government’s policy and pledged to carry on teaching children to read and write.

He said: “I accept that some of our testing may have been a tad draconian. Forcing that infant school to hold 18 hour exams without breaks was a mistake and we learned from it, but we can’t ignore the results. The children that didn’t die of malnutrition are now able to multiply 37 by 79 without pausing for breath, and can spell anti-disestablishment areas without blubbing.”

Teachers unions were taking the latest ideas for completely re-ordering their profession with a pinch of salt. Helen Evans, a branch organiser for the NUT in south London, gave Prof Alexander short shrift in her local pub after school.

“That twat should come down to my school and try teaching 30 vermin with no concept of right or wrong. If I can get through the day without being stabbed and they learn a few new words, that’s good enough for me.”


  1. You missed a couple of the other key elements, including the Mathematics of handling Benefits Claims' and 'How to Wear and detonate a Suicide Belt'.

    But you covered the broad strokes!



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