Michael Gove – Seriously?

Michael Gove (The UK Government’s Secretary of State for Education) could not be more wrong in his quote today:

“Exam success boosts children’s happiness and encourages them to learn.”

Exam success boosts happiness, in the same way being released from prison boosts happiness!

If that is Mr Gove’s definition of happiness though – it’s very sad. Motivate children, help them realise their purpose, help them release their own creativity (whatever that is) – help them become the best version of them. That’s what’ll make children happiest. That’s what will set then up for great success.

Conformity to a state-based system, so everyone does the same and acts the same to pass the same exam means everyone turns out the same – it breeds only mediocrity, and in my experience, is a catalyst for misery, not happiness.

Our only unique gift is our creativity (be that sport, academic, artistic – whatever). Whilst I am sure there are those that love the thrill of an exam and the buzz of passing with flying colours – this is not the be-all and end-all. Why is the government so hell bent on mediocrity and stifling creativity and individuality? It makes me so angry!!

Would it not be better to use the education system to make sure people can read and write and have all the other very necessary skills.

Kids should also be taught how the world works: how to manage money, how to start / run a business and read a balance sheet, how to negotiate and deal with people – in the real world, how to cook, how to care, how to do so many other things that you actually ‘need’ in life but don’t get taught at school (and we shouldn’t assume they are being learnt at home).

Beyond that – you have a diverse and open curriculum that lets people try all sorts of different things in a safe, non judgemental way. Want to be a maths genius – try that. Want to play football – try that, want to learn to draw – try that. Want to learn to cook – try that. Try everything – or as much as is possible within budgets / time etc – but importantly – get a rounded view of the world. “If you don’t get a pass in German, you’re a failure.” . . . this shouldn’t be the thoughts ringing through kids heads – as this or statements like it so often are.

As time at school progresses allow kids to specialise in what they clearly thrive in – whether that’s academic, practical, artistic, altruistic . . . who cares – find peoples’ inner creativity or purpose and help nurture and grow it. In a way that works for them, not the ‘system’.

Surely this is what the world, the UK and most importantly: kids need?