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basic skills shake up

25 replies

NeedToLearn · 05/12/2006 18:10

did anyone read this?

Lord Leitch wants 95% of British adults to have basic numeracy and literacy by 2020.

The report points out that 5 million adults lack functional literacy and more than 17 million have difficulties with numbers.
I am one of those 17 million that have diffuculty with numeracy. Can't do maths at all. Never had an opportunity for an education. I am now paying the price for it as too bloody old to go and study.

I bet most of you that post on this site have got degrees and the like. Anyway, here is the report.

OP posts:
BrummieOnTheRun · 05/12/2006 20:38

I can't see how this article's suggestion that we force kids to stay on at school until they are 18 is going to make any difference to literacy levels.

If they haven't learnt before they are 16 - for whatever reason - then forcing another 2 years on them isn't going to work either.

Obviously I don't know about your situation, NeedTL, but I suspect most kids who don't learn have dropped out of school for one reason or another: family issues, lack of interest, and/or they get so far behind they feel unable to cope or don't want to lose face, etc. Need to tackle those issues first, I'd have thought, before extending compulsory education.

I've been wondering recently whether we shouldn't LOWER the school leaving age (say to 14) and encourage more on-the-job and vocational training for kids who aren't interested in school. Instead of just having them drop out of the system that is. You could make it compulsory that the parents make them do something by tying it to Child Benefit payments. maybe. ?????

UCM · 05/12/2006 20:49

If they stop all of this poncey development shite and went back to learning x tables, italic writing and long arithmetic (instead of using a bloody calculator), spelling the basics (ka - aa - t spells cat) the way most of us learnt 30 years ago, I think it might help.

UCM · 05/12/2006 20:50

Meant to add, this was in Junior school (I have no idea what year this is today, but for me it was 7 - 11)

juuule · 06/12/2006 10:26

NTL - how old are you? What age do you consider is too old to go and study? I have a neighbour who did a degree course in late 60s/early 70s. My dad did a French examination course in his 60s. I personally don't think that it is ever too late to learn whatever you want to, if you want to.

Tortington · 06/12/2006 10:33

neer to late to learn.

the problem with the education system is that too much is expected from small children.

basic maths and science and english should be the building blocks the FIRM building blocks for secondary school

once you can read properly the world is your oyster.

i have a degree but phone my husband at work ( in secret) to work out percentages for my reports.

people who can do maths - just dont get how people who can't - just can't

i failed it three times. but i should be able to do percentages, basic fractions additon and subtraction

without having to do the fucking pythagoras theorum - which BTW i do understand bizarrly.

Callisto · 06/12/2006 11:03

My father had a PhD in maths. I failed CSE three times (my highest grade was a 'd' equivalent in O levels) - I am number dyslexic. I totally agree that if you haven't learnt to read & write by 16 there isn't much point being forced to stay in school for a further two years. I think compulsory vocational training is a good idea. That could start at 14 though, with an option to completely change tack and go through another two years vocational at 16.

This govt have made a pigs ear of education and I can't see anything in this latest proposal to improve it.

Callisto · 06/12/2006 11:05

Hah, my father still has a PhD in maths, doh.

paulaplumpbottom · 06/12/2006 11:12

I to think they need to go back to basics. You can go anywhere once you know the three Rs

Callisto · 06/12/2006 11:20

I can't understand how so many children are managing to go through their entire schooling without learning to read and write. Surely someone must notice?

UCM · 06/12/2006 12:05

Does anyone remember having to do italic writing. Everyone was sooooo worrried about putting the little ticky bits on the letters that they learnt their letters anyway. It was a ploy I reckon

BooWho · 06/12/2006 12:37

i find it bit worrying that most 4 year olds starting reception can't talk properly.

fattime · 06/12/2006 12:50

Callisto number dyslexic? I never thought of that. Is it real? Could that be my real problem? I have the opportunity of a good job but need GCSE maths. You are going to say you were only joking I just know it! (When I look at numbers I just can't see anything that makes sense. Is it my fear or could it be a form of dyslexic?)

BrummieOnTheRun · 06/12/2006 13:01

The maths thing is interesting. I think if you don't 'get it' (and i never did) it takes a very special kind of teacher to teach it. And probably one that understands how/why people don't 'get it'. Mathmaticians are possibly the last people on the earth who should be teaching it

BooWho · 06/12/2006 13:05

fattime I am exactly the same. i look at numbers and it might as well be a different language. i just don't get it.
i would love to to GCSE maths

fattime · 06/12/2006 13:16

Oh BooWho, thank you, I am not alone. I would love to do GCSE maths just to get over this problem that has dogged me since school and also because I have to keep quiet now my children are older and I am not as quick and soon will not know what on earth their homework is all about!

BooWho · 06/12/2006 13:18

fattime, Is it only maths you have a problem with? Have you got any qualifications?

Callisto · 06/12/2006 13:56

I doubt there is such a thing as being number dyslexic really, but it sums up my general hopelessness with numbers (and please no-one say I am belittling true dyslexics). Maybe we should campaign for it to be recognised. I also think my very useless maths teachers are as much to blame though.

Callisto · 06/12/2006 13:57

Were to blame as I'm not still at school. Problems with the space-time continuum at Chez Callisto today...

notagrannyyet · 06/12/2006 14:03

I think there is a number equivalent of dyslexia. I think it is called dyscalcula...or something like that.

BooWho · 06/12/2006 14:51

there is a type of number dyslexia, don't know what it is called, can't remember.

fattime · 06/12/2006 16:37

BooWho, yep I've got A levels but ran from maths at the earliest opportunity. How about you?
What Notagrannyyet said is interesting will have to look that up.

BooWho · 06/12/2006 17:23

fattime, no I left school before sitting my GCSE's (long story), now I am regretting it as I feel I won't be able to help my kids with their homework when they are older and also, i would like my kids to be proud of me for having a profession or at least a good job (doing what I don't know).

I do have typing skills and CLAIT certificates and that is it. Not much at all.


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fattime · 07/12/2006 14:29

Know how you feel BooWho a few A levels don't really count for much and not having GCSE maths is a bind.

paulaplumpbottom · 07/12/2006 17:48

I found it weird when I first moved to this country how much qualifications mattered. I have a BA in English Lit, but no formal typing or computer qualifications although I am very good with both as my experiance attested to. I had been a secretary for several years and was very competant. However nobody would give me the time of day because I didn't have the qualifications.

BrummieOnTheRun · 08/12/2006 17:51

The govt does contradict itself. Correct me if I'm wrong someone, but if someone's on the dole and they take themselves off on a training course for more than 2 days in any week - to try and improve their skillset and therefore improve their job prospects - they are penalised by having their benefit stopped for that week (or 2?) because their training course meant they "weren't immediately available for work".

I ALMOST understand why the rule exists but it's so short-termist to put immediate availability for work (ie within 48hrs) ahead of improve unemployed people's skillset.

Only once they've been on benefit for 6 months does the govt off them training.

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