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Published by jack elliot

‘fetish’ for exams is unnecessary

and could ruin children’s lives



those in charge of education today

seem to think the function of a book …

is to provide exercises for grammar

and it’s not, of course.

The function of a book

or a poem or a story

is to delight,

to enchant,

to beguile.


Children needed to be tested,

but the emphasis on the results is too great:


To make exams a complete fetish

and to make the very existence of the school

depend on success in the league tables is just monstrous



Children should read for pleasure.


The government or whoever is in charge

of education

has got it badly wrong,


 They seem to be doing their best

to ruin children’s lives.

We hear of the desperate straits

that some children get into now,

 It’s entirely unnecessary …

There’s no need for it whatsoever.

It’s damaging, it’s destructive,

it’s entirely



to drill the interest out of everything in education


by making children pass tests,

it’s as if you want to destroy their childhood


facts, facts, facts!, 

is a recipe for

the destruction of the soul


the current means by which children

are taught writing and grammar

risks alienating,

confusing and demoralising children

with restrictions on language

just at the time when they need

to be excited by the possibilities



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