Pupils let down

We HAVE an underfunded education system with overcrowded classrooms and children leaving school without decent levels of literacy and numeracy.

We have employers and universities complaining they are having to improve the levels of literacy and numeracy of a high number of students and employees when they arrive at their doors. Many councils are considering shortening the school week and playtime facilities to cope with lack of funds and staff shortages. The Scottish Government has set a target for all pupils at the end of primary school (11 years old) to know their 12-times table and be able to read a novel.

How far has the education system sunk? In the early fifties by that stage, we were doing algebra and having to read at least one book a term as a home reader. I remember reading the works of John Buchan. We started learning Latin at 11 or 12.

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Given the poor state of education in Scotland at present, one would imagine priority would be given to the basic essential foundations at primary level. Sadly, we see the latest parochial, introverted lunacy whereby all primary school pupils are to be taught the “Scots language”. I fail to see how wasting limited resources teaching children to sing “Ally, bally, ally bally bee” and to say “It would gar ye greet and fair make ye boak” is going to enhance their opportunities in the outside world.


Beech Hill

Gifford, East Lothian