A Day Off is a Gift

Yesterday I walked to the railway station with Sharon from the refreshment room, who was looking forward to spending the afternoon with her daughter. The little one had the day off school due to a public sector workers’ strike. On the platform it was clear that other families were setting out to spend time together, maybe in London, maybe by the sea. Of course government ministers have been vocal in condemning the strike and the alleged damage it caused the economy. I don’t think those children who were given a few hours of their parents’ time worried about any of that.

This reminds me of an inspection report from about 90 years ago, when an elementary school near here was visited; Since few of the boys or girls followed a skilled trade after they leave school, most of the former, it appears, finding work as errand boys, there is no call for advanced training in any special direction. A solid grounding in the rudiments is what the class of children need who come to this school.

And a solid grounding in rather more complicated work-related skills is what today’s children are expected to receive. It seems to me that one lesson has not been assimilated by the politicians. School should be for more than producing workers: education does not equal training, but forming the whole person. Tick all the boxes, you don’t have an education.

An unexpected day basking in parental love will have been a precious gift for Sharon’s daughter and many another child. (And their parents, too!)

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