IF THERE is a buzzword for the political and news agenda this week, that word is education — the lack of it, the attempted denial of it and the downright oddness of it.
To illustrate the last point, we go to Samworth Church Academy in Mansfield, where pupils have been banned from putting their hands up to answer questions in class after the head teacher said it was always the same ones responding.
Apparently, the academy will now only allow the raising of hands “to establish silence for listening,” according to principal Barry Found.
Quite what that actually means is one for the semanticists among us.
Speaking of which, it emerged yesterday that those loveable merchants of death at BAE Systems have opened a new £15 million training academy in Samlesbury, Lancashire, describing it as “a huge boost for the skills of current and future employees.”
The firm said it would train, “all apprentices and graduates in BAE’s military aircraft business and provide lifelong learning and skills development for 13,000 workers for at least the next 40 years.”
Quite what this “training” will involve is anyone’s guess, but your scribe can’t help imagining one long conveyor belt where the raw recruit goes in, has their ethics removed and their moral compass scrambled before being spewed out as a fully operational psychopath with a shiny suit and badge and all the Saudi royal family on speed dial.
Disturbingly, the firm also said it would offer classes for children from the age of five.
It seems, however, that BAE is far ahead of Samworth academy on at least one issue — its employees have never held their hands up to anything.
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