Able or adept?
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Education Proposals Explained.

Schools are to select pupils on grounds of "Aptitude" but not "Ability". JBP finds this a tricky one.

"Well, Wilkinson, I notice that young Jenkins has gained entrance to the school. He's Councillor Jenkins's youngest, isn't he?" "Yes, Headmaster."

"On what grounds did we accept him, Wilkinson?"

"On the grounds, Headmaster, that he showed a marked aptitude for mathematics."

"Did he, indeed? Excellent. But - er - I do hope that he didn't give strong evidence of real ABILITY, Wilkinson. That could get us into serious trouble, you know."

"No, no. Headmaster, I made quite sure that he can neither add, multiply nor subtract."

"I see. Then how did we arrive at the view that he had APTITUDE, would you say?"

"He is apt to quantify his biscuits at break-time, in order, I imagine, to satisfy his inordinate greed."

"Apt with biscuits, is he? I see, I see. Then we can look forward to several exams being resoundingly failed, Wilkinson?"

"That is emphatically so, Headmaster. I'm not sure that this will be welcomed by Councillor Jenkins, a most concerned and assiduous parent, as you know, and active in the interests of the wider community, at least until his own children have left school."

"Quite so. You know, Wilkinson, I have long thought that education may be the root cause of most of the troubles in the world, since it obviously gives rise to serious ineptitude in high places. Perhaps this whole question should be looked into?"

"Another review, Headmaster? Maybe we could apply for positions on the review panel. So much more restful than teaching, don't you think?"

"Quite so. And leave other people to teach young Jenkins how to tick the wrong boxes on an exam paper?"

"Exactly, Headmaster."

© Winamop. January 2006

Read old page 94s here.


© Winamop 2006