What do they do without it?

When I went to XXKX this evening, I wandered in and sat down without noticing that Glen and Row were already there. They told me that two of the IELTS students, Terry and Barby [sic], had been round to their place to check out their DVD collection because they, T and B, were bored now that they have nothing else to do. It’s another indictment of the education system here being geared to occupy school children for sixteen hours a day. Once school is over, there must be legions of young Chinese people who have no idea what to do with themselves and can’t switch off. It’s probably also, in part, why people’s jobs become their lives. They’ve never been forced to keep themselves amused because the “amusement” is always supplied by someone else.

I’m mentioning this because the mortarboard section of The Guardian’s blogs has an entry All work and no play about a suggestion by an American academic, Alfie Kohn, that homework could be a waste of time. Not being concerned with schools myself, I was unaware that homework was made compulsory nine years ago. More proof that the UK really is just like China.

Mr Bamboo, knowing that his pupils have more than enough to do from their other subjects and believing that class time is more than sufficient torment, is generous to them.

Meanwhile, the QCA has decided that 11 to 14 year olds shouldn’t study Othello because the themes are too mature for them (Putting out the light: Should Othello be banned from class?). As the post notes, other plays by Will the Quill, which are considered suitable for this age group, are also fraught with issues that might be considered inappropriate.


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