Friday, April 13, 2007

A Life Less Ordinary

It's been revealed that schools in the Scottish Borders are failing to provide enough PE when compared to the Scottish Executive guidelines - the target is a mere two hours per week. Not that our region is alone but it is well behind most of the councils. When The Southern Reporter asked for an explanation, the council claimed they did not paint a true picture. Their basic explanation is that the figures are misleading. This maybe the case, but anecdotal evidence suggests that most people feel that school kids don't get enough exercise within the curriculum. Certainly most people I know suggest that the emphasis on homework and exam results is so highly focused that other activities take a back seat; even after school activities suffer.

Add this situation to the row about the Borders rugby team and there’s a worrying link. There's no doubt that the emphasis has changed in our education system. Government targets for producing more and more 'qualified' students with better and better grades is equipping kids with pieces of paper that indicate their performance but it fails to equip them for life. The focus on turning out children from our schools that are then pointed in the direction of university is all part of our 'league table’ driven politics. This is far more about how it reflects on Education managers and professionals than it is about the needs of the pupils. Over management of our schools by administrators and managers instead of leaving things to the teachers is part of the problem.

How does this relate to Borders rugby? Well we are becoming a virtual society, one in which people are more and more focused on what happens on one of the ‘screens of life’ - the computer screen, the TV screen, the mobile phone screen and the ipod screen. We live vicariously instead of vivaciously. The trend is towards isolation rather than involvement. We need to get back to living a life more real to avoid a life that’s less than ordinary.

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