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Mahatma Gandhi once said:

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chocolates for the Teacher?

Well Polly, I'm back home again in Little Uppity after a wonderful commune with nature in the Surrey Downs. Whilst my lifelong membership of The National Trust may amuse old soulmates from my Green CND days...was it really 25 years ago? I'd like to think that the added years brings an element of reflectiveness and that whilst I am growing old....I refuse to grow up! Did you get the DVD I sent you to advance your recovery?

The invigorating breeze and starlit constellations of the night sky did bring a certain clarity.....but I couldn't resist the urge to kick off my muddy boots, rush (barefoot?)to the shed and breathe in the intoxicating spirit of google in search of enlightenment.

The answers my friend, are not blowing in the wind! They lie in Switzerland. Land of chocolate. Did you know that teachers in Switzerland are paid oodles of Swiss francs (no doubt funded from the ample gold reserves of the Swiss Bank)...and rank number one best paid in the whole teaching world. But are they happy? Who cares...where is the UK in this ranking? I know statistics can be misleading and admittedly this information is a little out of date...let down by google and Orion's Belt I'm afraid. So I delved deeper...LOOK's as clear as Glastonbury mud, teaching salaries directly relate to both the quality of teaching and shortages in recruitment. So, please Polly, when Alvin and Evan eventually find some blogger to lend us a budget can we ensure that they address our educational spending as a % GDP as a priority? No 'pot to p#*s in' jokes please or I'll think I'm back at a green gathering!

I thought you would relish free analytical reign with these education statistics so I duly link them for your perusal as I found all those numbers a little daunting. See, I knew you'd love them...I feel another spreadsheet coming on? Whilst I'm sure there are some serious conclusions to be drawn from this data, I couldn't help but notice that 54% find school boring and in our Geographical Aptitude Test the UK ranked 126th out of 191 countries. I was astounded. At its height, The British Empire covered a sixth of the Earth's landmass...and we scored lower than Turkmenistan and Tuvalu...wherever they are? Well, I investigated the statistical basis for this finding to discover that our perceived geographical aptitude is based on the results of an on-line geography quiz game! So that's how we address the boredom factor in geography lessons. Ah yes...I did have a go..or two! I thought with my gap year interludes I could positively massage our rankings up the scale singlehandedly. It defeated me completely. Where in the world is Burkina Fasa, and should we be actively recruiting geography teachers by offering them fat salaries and a bar of 'Green and Blacks' Maya Gold? No international credit crunch in Switzerland they're good at maths too. Why is that? couldn't be the teaching could it? It must be the chocolate.
Nice to be home,
Love Ivor X
PS How's your meniscus? How many times have you watched Mama Mia now? Hoped you'd like it....Aunty Gladys said you would. She queued to get it at Woolies (just in time!)