Those who can: cheat

British kids, as anyone who’s met one can attest to, are stupid. Their English, so new research tells us, is worse than those for whom the empyrean tongue is a second language. Half of them can’t spell ‘separate’. Almost four in five think that there’s an apostrophe in the possessive form of ‘its’. And all this from students of one of the country’s top universities. Egad!

Were they not so insignificant, one would undoubtedly shudder when considering what the standards are like lower down the age and ‘intelligence’ groups. Morons to a man, most probably.

It is not all the fault of the pupils, however. Our poor illiterate inferiors are taught by demagogues often equally confused by the world of complicated clauses and errant apostrophes.

Combined with the government’s determination to prove that they’ve created a nation of geniuses by awarding every school student straight As within the next decade, pupils are left with little option. Society demands that they cheat, whenever and wherever possible.

There isn’t anything too wrong with this—cheating is a noble art whose effective expression fights valiantly against the systematic neutering of meritocratic standards in our beleaguered education system. However, this is most certainly not to say that any old cheating should be given a free ride. Such a policy would be indelicate in extremis. If the policing standards fall too low, the pernicious effects of the ‘prizes for all’ culture will negate the benefits of those that can be a bit ‘creative’ with their coursework.

Thus, the government’s new guide to coursework cheating, unleashed onto well-meaning teachers yesterday, makes for relatively grim reading.

Some, in fact quite a few, of the watchdog’s proposals sound surprisingly stringent, and with a bit of luck, might even turn out to be sensibly implemented. Others, however, seem designed to sully the good name of cheating with the type of tosh one has come to expect from reason-hating government departments.

Teachers should now ensure, we’re told, that part of a coursework task is carried out under supervision. While this may sound perfectly reasonable, it is in fact a big waste of everybody’s time, teachers and pupils alike. Other than those coursework tasks that can be easily split into separate sections where one of said sections can be completed and handed in independently—of which there are precious few—all this means is that the dedicated plagiariser has to wait until going home to ‘enhance’ whatever nonsense he’s had to do under the watchful eye of the teacher, whose time, incidentally, would be better spent teaching rather than supervising.

Another point from the guide—which might seem at first hand to be eminently sensible but on any sort of examination is seen to be little more than bureaucratic defecation—advises teachers to compare the standard of coursework, especially with respect to the use of scientific terms, with the work a pupil is condemned to complete to pass the time and to keep them from getting into trouble.

Without draconianly making the entirety of the year’s work subject to examinational scrutiny, this scheme blatantly and blithely discriminates against those pupils with better things to do than waste their time churning out crap for the staff-room shredder. Such a move would also have an unwelcome knock-on effect to another oft-highlighted ‘problem’ of schooling, viz. that girls outperform boys at the more strictly standardised levels of education.

Girls, due to their disabling lack of imagination, tend to work harder throughout the year and charm teachers with their curly handwriting and lack of mud on their trousers. If such pointless activity is to have an indirectly favourable effect on allegedly life-defining grades, everyone could soon be in trouble.

School, in the government (as opposed to the running around breaking things) sense of the word, is soul-destroying and unrewarding enough already. Take away the important recourse of risk-taking associated with the more leisurely, economical kids, and it becomes drastically worse.

For a prosperous life, those who can should cheat, and more importantly, they should be given the freedom to do so without the retards getting a share of their rewards.

  1. genghis said:

    “Morons to a man, most probably”

    Moron —Definition — A person of mild mental retardation having a mental age of from 7 to 12 years and generally having communication and social skills enabling some degree of academic or vocational education. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.

    It takes one to know one!!

  2. Paul said:

    Can I therefore assume, given that you took the time to furnish me with a definition, that you believed me unknowing of what a moron is, and subsequently don’t believe me to be one? ;)

  3. Shuggy said:

    I’m kind of left wondering what that article is supposed to be about, exactly. It appears to be something about the rather dismal condition of our education system yet with this rather incoherent piece, you show yourself to be something of a victim. When you said, “Girls, due to their disabling lack of imagination, tend to work harder throughout the year and charm teachers with their curly handwriting and lack of mud on their trousers” – I presume you think you’re being sexist in a post-modern, knowing kind of way? But even so, “Lack of mud on their trousers”? What the fuck are you talking about? Why did you write this post?

  4. Paul said:

    “I’m kind of left wondering what that article is supposed to be about, exactly.”

    Funny, I tend to feel that about everything I scribble down.

    “I presume you think you’re being sexist in a post-modern, knowing kind of way?”

    Nah, merely verbal vomit, I’m afraid. FWIW, I don’t think it’s sexist to claim that girls work harder than boys, don’t come in late and bedraggled after playing football and are thus more amenable to the teachers too. But, meh…

    The incoherence was clearly due to combining two thoughts into one jumbled heap, written to alleviate 15 minutes of boredom and to make this place look slightly less dead. Having a point was secondary.

  5. Paul said:

    UPDATE: we’re saved!

    (in short: students must now know how to read, write and add up to pass exams. Bonus.)

  6. I feel I must point out the incorrect use of an apostrophe in the tenth paragraph, second to last line – “viz. that girl’s outperform boys at the more strictly standardised levels of education”. I believe that should be just “girls” there.

    And that is, if I may say, a much dafter mistake than using “it’s” as the possessive form, which is after all, at least semi-logical, given the use of the apostrophe in other possessive forms – e.g. “Katherine’s grammar was better than “Paul’s”.

  7. Paul said:

    Cheers for pointing it out. Hate to see things like that go unnoticed. Corrected (or at least will be as soon as this damn thing lets me).

    Incidentally, what’s the logic behind the second quotation mark in your example? :)

  8. Girls lack imagination? Say what?

  9. Paul said:

    “Girls lack imagination? Say what?”

    In the context of education (and pseudo-polemic): I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to equate assiduity with a lack of imagination. And it’s often used as a actual proper reason like given by academic officials and stuff as to why girls do better at every level of education bar getting firsts at uni…

    Really, if we’re going to start nit-picking horribly hasty generalisations, none of us will have any fun :) Next thing we won’t be able to call politicians snivelling snake-hearted swine on the flimsy grounds that they’re probably above-average human beings. And no one needs that.

  10. Simstim said:

    I didn’t know that the Thursday Rant was still running!

  11. ajay said:

    Please learn the difference between in extremis and “in the extreme”.

  12. Paul said:

    Aware – Know it’s not technically sound, but I wanted the more fatalistic overtone. Poetic licence if you will.

  13. You’re right ~ I’ve been in Hong Kong for 3 years the now, teaching English to wee Chinese kids. I came back to England for a few months and bloody hell! Everything is “fresh shrimp’s” and crap. Fresh shrimp’s what exactly?
    Learn you’re own bloody language, you bunch o useless gets. Fuck’s sake, I teach the simplist o the simple but you have to get your apostrophes right…
    Ah an whoops, a bit pished so having trouble concentrating. Lovely blog etc, pity they shut down whats-his-tit (“surprising revelation”) and hope he continues on here.
    p.s. please don’t criticise my English cos I said I was a teacher. Everyone does that. It’s like Finding Nemo ~ hey, you’re a clown fish, say summat funny! Fuck off, etc etc..
    All that said, nice blog an all…