Looking back to my schooldays, I reckon many of my most valuable lessons were learnt by rote. Times tables, spelling, geographical facts and later, sorry, Latin declensions and conjugations. And how did my school teachers check that I knew them? By asking me politely to swear I’d made the effort? No. There was a test!
These days it is no longer pc, human or psychologically acceptable to demand proof of knowledge imparted. The pressure of being examined is too great for the modern child; and if you must check progress, offer multiple choice questions, to give ’em a chance.
Have you seeen the SATS papers for 6 – 11 year olds? Hardly surprising that by 16 so many children are illiterate and unable to do simple arithmetic. Ask employers how hard it is to recruit young people.
Some will blame Alex Salmond, but I think the Bliar Brigade should carry the can, believing you can make a silk purse out of a genetically modified sow’s ear and then cook the books to prove it.