Price of Non-Failure
recent school exam results in Britain made me run to my keyboard,
not in joy, but despair. Whilst a record 94.3% of all pupils passed
the university-entrance exams (called A-levels), the State-controlled
exam board chiefs boasted of "driving failure out of the system"
and looked forward to 100% pass rates in the next few years. Incredibly,
the pass rate has gone from 77% to the new record in only 12 years.
I smell the smell of manipulation in the drive to eliminate failure.
are they afraid of? Mobs of traumatised zombies trudging the streets
and wailing "I've failed. Failed!"? Mass suicides because they cannot
take the stigma of failure? Please, Miss Nanny State, return these
young people their backbones and give them some credibility.
what an evil this great exam inequality is some pass but
some do not! The haves and the have nots syndrome is facing extinction
as the crusading exam setters strive to produce exams which are
failure-proof (or is that idiot-proof?). Having bravely slain this
chihuaua, it will be on to the other bugaboos that vex society so
much such as poverty and discrimination. Perhaps, like the easing
of the difficulty of exams, the government could just relax the
definition of "poverty" and shift a few million voters over the
newly drawn border into the land of prosperity. It is amazing what
a few strokes of a pen or a keyboard can do just ask their
colleagues in the Treasury who conjure up billions of fiat money
at a stroke. Unfortunately, this is not very likely, as "poverty"
is one of the great nebulous entities that government needs to justify
the Welfare State.
on from the hallucinatory world of government spin and massaging
of figures, the not so twilight world of business recruitment is
murmuring. The heretical malcontents are claiming that the people
they are getting are actually stupider. The head of the influential
Institute of Directors even had the temerity to say that "Young
people seem to know less than they did 20 or 30 years ago". When
these "fiat" qualifications are exposed to the free market, they
are found wanting. After all, imagine no one was allowed to fail
in business ventures, imagine a world where employees were never
allowed to be fired for failing to meet the grade. Actually, I can,
it is called the public sector and this disease is spreading to
our bright and bushy tailed youth.
let us forget about the cleansing and sifting process of failure
which has allowed capitalism to progress when it comes to education.
Just give the former failures a false sense of achievement and deter
them from being motivated by the pain of failure to try harder.
In fact, we'll just palm them off onto insipid courses such as media
studies or sociology and they'll surface again in some deadbeat
job in a social security office. You know a bit like shovelling
snow for a living in the old USSR (sorry, that should be "Subzero
Precipitation Displacement Management").
education for all is such an albatross, the universities are running
at overcapacity due to easy exam requirements, too many establishments
and the ubiquitous State subsidies to prop up entrants who were
better off just getting a job and applying their latent talents
at the coalface of the real world. But, instead, they spend three
or more years at State-approved establishments learning skills which
do not reflect free market demand and in between lectures they generally
live it up at the taxpayers' expense (well, they did until grants
were abolished). Then they graduate and find they cannot even get
a job at MacDonalds because they are deemed to be overqualified.
is time to let private exam setters set the standards and let the
customers decide which set of exams are the best and the ones to
covet. The government has sat the test of exam-production and has
come it at grade Z (no doubt a pass in the government's eyes).
Watson [send him
mail] writes from Edinburgh, Scotland. He now runs his own Christian
© 2002 LewRockwell.com