Monday, 24 October 2011

Generation A* is born

I need a dollar...a dollar is all I need

The current trend of high academic grades is a sure sign that we are raising super bright children….or at least if school league tables are to be believed , many a scholastic institution harbors prodigies and boffins. To herald the new era of super braindom,  the humble A grade of yester-year has now been elevated to A*.  This suggests that our schools are filled with future inventors, scientists, entrepreneurs and intellectuals – ho hum!

Just following the A*s!
The straight A* student, who may tick all the boxes in class, appears no different to the average teenager– sleeping late and forgetting things – not to mention spending an age on the telephone and computer – but they are. They are able to retain a vast amount of information and reproduce them under examination conditions to achieve perfect marks. Education is making  “sheep” of our children as they are herded to their books, munching through facts and figures by the noble shepherds and shepherdesses in charge  of their academic diets– their teachers and the government.
Intellectual indigestion
 A* students are top of the class and teacher’s pet. Schools are ever keen to track their achievements  so that the league tables are glowing. Headteachers are now keen marketers of their top tier students.  If you’re a middle grader  - Mr/Miss Average- pressure upon pressure is piled upon you to see if you turn that C into an A*.

Children today have to attend after school / lunchtime sessions in order to be stretched upon the rack of education. Their heads are stuffed like turkeys for Christmas. Most parents don’t understand enough about new education policies so they’re unable to challenge it. Those who do end up with low self-esteem about their child’s efforts and their parenting.  If they don’t keep up with current trends they’ll be left behind and their children will become the untouchables of the system.
I know children with A*’s who can’t even tie their shoelaces! They have poor practical skills and poorer social skills. It doesn’t matter ‘cos  Generation A* don’t have a life and they keep the wheels of competiton turning – even if it means competing for a nervous breakdown! The word on the street is that we should aim to be like them but blending in with the A* crowd is not my idea of getting ahead in the world.
Less education more fresh thinking
Believe it or not, Generation A* have less than developed thinking skills. They wouldn’t survive in the jungle and they’d certainly never be able to put up a shelf. If you’re seeking hands-on people then think again. They don’t have much independence of thought since they look up to authority and rarely question it. They are fodder for dictators who know that these guys will just follow orders.  They are obedient and never break or bend the rules.  Breaking a few eggs to make an omelette is entirely foreign to them!
A* Career progression
It’s important to note that great men and women in history did not have formal schooling. They were often home educated and thereby their original and independent thinking did not suffer. Annie Sullivan did not tell Helen Keller that her disabilities (of being blind, deaf and dumb) meant that she had special needs and could not become a valuable member of society. Abraham Lincoln was not a particularly bright student and Einstein was not force-fed a diet of planned lessons and study skills.
Schools have a habit of breaking you in and down-  “Do you know you have the lowest grades of the entire year group?” “Do you want me to come down to your level – which is bottom of the class?” These put-downs do nothing for motivation and certainly kill a lot of enthusiasm. Emotional abuse is the elephant in the classroom; everyone sees it but no one knows how to remove it!
When I grow up I'm going to get some fresh air
Our children don’t want learning for the sake of acquiring grades. The want learning for the pure joy it brings. The purpose of education is for the refinement of the mind and to keep our mental engine firing on all pistons. The human mind is adept at learning and not just what’s in a class room. Today’s education in schools is damaging to body and spirit. It steals precious hours of childhood when kids should be outside playing in the fresh air or bonding with their families. Generation A* are huddled over their computers worrying about time management and their “to do” list.
DO NOT DISTURB - A* brain at work
If we look at the state of the world then we know that Generation A* are no more brighter than their forefathers. The more the world changes, the more it stays the same. We’re no closer to achieving  world peace or eradicating hunger. Generation A* are not schooled in common sense or even uncommon sense – I acquired mine from the school of life.
Your real education starts when you leave school and begin the world. To face up to challenges means going through a process of unlearning. One that’ll stick in your throat is why you – a student with a smattering of A & A*’s – is working for a C student who made it up the ladder to become your boss!??
Most adults will tell you that they can’t remember a thing they learnt at school. School was just a holding centre to prove to the government and your parents you were doing something useful.  When I look back on my school days I remember my feelings of despondency at the fact that I was just a number – a good student – but still a nobody.
Stand up and be counted
Forget what you learnt in school and always remember that you are unique and called to do something remarkable. You are special and you’ll know that once you leave school and see beyond the assessments and regulations –  a star will be born – once you let  the light of your spirit shine.


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