Poetry – Fodder for the exam machine

Fodder for the exam machine

Cloistered in rows for the injection

Of narcotising facts.

Memorising and regurgitating

No time to relax.

Tests to be taken.

Exams to be passed.

Tables to move up.

We must not come last.

No room for creativity

In the bright new world

Of numeracy and literacy;

There’s money to be hurled.

Fodder for the exam machine

Fodder for the job market

Fodder for the attainment tables

Chant it, test it, mark it!

Teaching by numbers

In the tick box culture

Where children are sacrificed

To the cash soaring vulture.

No time for fun!

No time for play!

No humanisation;

It gets in the way!

What use is art, music or drama?

Lateral thinking or creativity?

They won’t get you a career

If you can’t recite your ABC.

Back to basics!

In a flight to the days of 1950

When the Empire ruled

And people were nifty.

When discipline ruled

With the cane and the shout

And schools churned out rejects

No one cared about.

So open the gates –

Let the creationists in!

Welcome Big Business

To bring back discipline!

We’ll soon sort the wheat from the chaff

And blame all the failures for having a laugh!

But down a dark alley

Or in the dead of the night

I hope you don’t encounter

A mind filled with hate;

A drop out, a failure

With no hope in their life,

Labelled, excluded

Not caring their fate.

Fodder for the exam machine

Fodder for the job market

Fodder for the attainment tables

Chant it, test it, mark it!

Numbers to crunch!

Heads to fill!

Machines to service!

Young minds to kill!

Opher 6.6.2016

Fodder for the exam machine

Education is the future of the planet.

Education should be inspiring, expanding and illuminating. It is a joyous thing.

Education should never produce failures with no hope; youngsters disenfranchised from society; winners or losers. It should be inclusive of all abilities and disabilities, all cultures, colours and creeds. It should be unifying and a celebration of success.

Briefly it was. Until Gove took over and we had a dive back to the glorious fifties – the days of bullying in the classroom, caning, violence and disparaging put-downs – the days of regimentation, learning by rote; where knowledge and facts were god.

But this is the 21st Century when facts are not so important. We need skills now. We have computers for facts. We need problem solving and creativity.

But this is the brave new world of the tick-box culture, the exam tables, inspections and rigid enforcement – where failure results in redundancy and fear rules. Cash plays the tune. Where teaching is controlled and the profession divided, castigated and cowed.

This is the time for education, for the masses, on the cheap; where we open the gates to the Creationists, Muslims, Jews and Big Business who will pay to get their hands on our kids.

But that’s OK. It’s cheaper.

The ones that matter go to the private schools and the ones who really matter sit on the benches at Eton and Harrow and wait to take their place at the trough. We do not want the masses educated. We do not want them thinking. They are merely units in the economy. They should know their place and pull their weight. They are earning money for those who deserve.

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