Monday, 22 April 2013

Dogma and Tradition: An England for the future!

I see Minister Gove, our renowned educationalist, has pronounced again.

Remember he toured China a couple of years ago? How he was starstruck? Especially how those hard-working Chinese come toppety-top in international measuring sticks for maths, science, more maths, and more science.

The might of Chinese education! How seductive it is. How powerful the man who brings it about! But to achieve it, Minister Gove must first Reeducate the People of England and Wales using the Chinese Characteristics witnessed at first hand.

Then what can we expect? We stubby-fingered, stumpy legged Anglo Saxon types? Clinging doggedly to our romantic Swallows and Amazons myths of agrarian childhoods while we look no further than the pig's mud we are grubbing for hedgehogs to roast.

1. Tinkertop, never too young.
Parents, in the Reeducation of the People With Chinese Characteristics, this will become your first Govian duty!

Brush up Tinkertop's interviewing technique. Even though she's aged two. If she is to succeed in our glorious national enterprise, Tinkertop must offer herself up to scrutiny, identify her failings, and make self-criticism as necessary. Then she may learn properly how to lay out the train set according to true Govian principles.

Welcome to Gove's model of early Asian education. Nurseries in Hong Kong run interviews. This is serious busine$$. The nursery Tinkertop attends can affect her final university place, so she must provide the correct interview answers! (It's bread.)

Not only good for Tinkertop, but good for business! Price competitive pre-school education sessions, crammer courses, and intensive toddler coaching!

You think I'm joking, no?

2. The 12-hour school day.
Tinkertop can never relax now she won that nursery place! She must maintain the intellectual pace of the intellectual elite. A twelve-hour day for school kids, including after-school-school, weekend camps, plus a punishing amount of homework.

3. No play. 
In the Govian future, of course it will not be possible to send your ten-year old out to play.

Let's adopt the Chinese approach to playground provision. Playgrounds for anyone over the age of five? Forget it. Remember, hedgehog grubbers, kid playing is A WASTE OF TIME. Outdoor activities prevent desk study. Sitting on a wobbly duck will not help you memorise Govian-certified facts. The energy expended by legs is proved to drain the brain. Climbing a monkey bar will never improve a maths score.

Parents, the school will expect you to do your duty. Schedule, schedule, schedule. All the way to graduation.

4. Continuous testing. 
Monitoring, testing, surveillance. All here to benefit Tinkertop and her ilk who would backslide into hedgehog roasting the moment the pressure is off. International scores must be maintained and their acceptance reinforced.

(And if Tinkertop stubbornly refuses to perform well in her exams, this is probably due to her moral failure, her spineless parents, and her gutless agrarian-noddled teachers.)

5. Teacher beware.
Under the Gove regime, Tinkertop must achieve A grades. Otherwise your pay will dip. Under Minister Gove, all teachers will compete and be paid by results where the results are grades. You will be made to comply via classroom inspections; at every opportunity these will weed out any who maintain wrong thinking - that schools are performing some sort of fluffy community goal.

In the Reeducated future, name-and-shame techniques will be used to identify bad teachers who fail to deliver the prescribed curriculum. Then let Chairman Gove come to save us!

6. Keep Tinkertop's brain busy.

Now Tinkertop reaches secondary level. Preferably in a crowd, where expressions of individuality invite social humiliation, where rote learning and chanting are good, where demonstrations of independent thinking are bad.

Keep Tinkertop occupied with mindless repetitive tasks; this is the perfect training for work.

(What do you mean, sounds like preparation for a life spent making steel in a backyard furnace? It's keeping people employed without the use of any critical faculties at all!)

7. Create an elite. 

Power cares not about left or right, capitalism or communism. Power is. Chairman Mao cared not about 'levelling the playing field'. Gove can learn from this. Talk equality but via the educational system put into place an elite; where family dynasties reign supreme, and where business covertly stitches up deals with government in areas of common interest.

8. Bring in the enforcers.
Obviously the Annoying People won't give in quietly to the programme of Govian Reeducation. Better steamroller the lot of them, throwing up smokescreens of politics and criticising them all as anti-patriotic fifth columnists. Meanwhile, effect all changes quick and dirty; avoid challenging statute law; use pressure on reluctants via the special advisers. (Trans for the awkward squads: Gove is coming to get you.)

9. Effect a culture change. 

Unfortunately, England does not share the knee-jerk cultural reaction when you mention the gaokao. In China, the gaokao exam is everything. It is access to your future life. Everything stops for the gaokao. Planes are re-routed, traffic ceases, neighbourhoods are monitored for noise. Shame that the wild and wilful Anglo Saxon hoards with their annoying finger-jabby anti-authoritarian leanings are not so deferential. But they can be persuaded, no? We can start with single exam boards; they will be far easier to manipulate directly from government.

10. Create a national fantasy. 
Under the influence of Mao, whole villages strived to out-do each other with evidence of high crop yields, the marvellous record on steel production, the wonders of increased productivity! Chairman Gove needs to similarly encourage the information-propaganda machine: tell us how his changes have reaped wonderful rewards. Expect tales of international success and excellence. A new utopia is at hand. Out with the olds. In with Chairman Gove!

Soon, Chairman Gove will have his name by every white board in the land. The photograph will follow. See then! The Reeducation of the People With Chinese Characteristics is complete! Our Great Leader Chairman Gove!

We love Chairman Gove! We love Chairman Gove!

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