I've just been watching the second episode of the latest That'll Teach 'Em series on TV, where they take bolshie modern schoolkids and put them in 1950's school conditions and see what happens. It is quite fascinating to see the effect just a week of strict discipline, order and real education has on most of them. Admittedly it is 'only' a TV programme, but you can see that some of the kids are genuinely shocked and amazed at being treated as children and not prematurely as adults (they're all 16), and how confused some of them are at first at being challenged by the teachers instead of having their brattish little egos indulged at every turn. But the interesting thing is that most of them very quickly start responding in a positive way to it all, and realising that it's actually better to have order and discipline, and get a sense of achieving things rather than having everything handed to you on a plate, with a pat on the head just for being there. This series is a 'girls versus boys' one, which is particularly intriguing. It's a joy to see the boys transformed from the usual sullen, swaggering, 'look at me, I'm cool' idiots to enthusiastic, good-humoured, keen schoolboys happily dissecting small (dead) animals and really enjoying competitive games, etc. Whereas the girls spend so much time complaining about all the things they really, really can't live without, bitching between themselves, and having hysterics about hands-on biology and school dinners involving real food. Nothing could better illustrate the feminisation of modern education and the dire effect it has had, not only on boys but on girls, too. And nothing could be a better argument for segregated secondary education. But will any of this have any repercussions in the real world? Of course not, because the ideologically obsessed fools who have been ruining British education for decades are still in charge. If I had kids I'd do anything to make sure they went to decent independent schools – in the hands of New 'Labour' there is no hope for our state school system – and the new 'touchy-feely' Tories under Cameron won't do anything better either, by the look of things.
You can see so clearly from all these sorts of series that so many of the deplorable aspects of modern society go back to the hopelessness of most state education and the process of destruction of an excellent system that started in the late 60's. The rudeness, the laziness, the slobbiness, the self-indulgence, the lack of respect for anyone or anything but themselves, the arrogance, the ignorance, the abysmal standards, (the list goes on and on) – they all start in the schools. All the rubbish 'initiatives' and social engineering projects of the current apology for a government are a complete waste of time until we have an education system that inculcates decent standards and discipline right from the start. But we quite obviously aren't going to get that, are we? It's so depressing. Once again my mind turns to emigration.