– LESS EQUALITY IN EDUCATION, MORE QUALITY –
By Dr. Ambrose Flint
Few people nowadays regard education as a privilege. They think that education is a special right for those who get it. Almost everyone recognises that it is important for every child to have the opportunity to learn. But in my opinion there is too much emphasis on equality in education and not enough on quality.
The reason for this is that politics and sociology interfere with educational standards. In other words, standards of education are influenced by politics and sociology. It is obvious that everyone is different and every child has different abilities. One may be good at mathematics, another may be good at languages.
Some children like academic subjects while others prefer to do things with their hands. But there are a large number of educational theorists who disregard this. They ignore the fact that every child has different abilities. Thev insist that all children are equal and so every child must receive the same education. There is little justification for this point of view; such theorists cannot give acceptable explanations.
Besides, every examination proves it wrong. So the theorists go further and argue that all examinations are bad because it is unfair and socially undesirable for one child to get more marks in a test than another. There is a great deal of hypocrisy and self-interest in this argument. All it proves, in my view, is that the theorists are afraid of parents’ reactions when their theories are put into practice and shown to be nonsense.
It is only natural for parents to want their children to be more successful than others and pass examinations. Of course it is true that forty or fifty years ago a large number of children were prevented from getting a good education because their parents could not afford & But the children who suffer nowadays are the exceptionally intelligent ones.
Those who are unusually intelligent suffer a lot because they do not receive individual attention. It is therefore quite clear to me that every child should have the opportunity 30 to learn, but each child should be treated as an individual.
– QUESTIONS –
A. Mark the best choice.
1. Line 1, a ‘privilege’ is .
a) the act of getting something c) the opportunity to learn
b) a special right d) an opinion which few people hold
2. Line 6, to ‘interfere with’ is to .
a) put too much emphasis on
c) influence b) reduce the quality of
d) be against standards
3. Line 12, to ‘disregard’ is to .
a) insist b) ignore c) prefer d) prove
4. Line 14, ‘justification’ is .
a) an acceptable explanation
b) a strong view on something
c) an argument to support your view
d) the opportunity to do something
5. The main idea of the second paragraph is that .
a) examinations are bad for children
b) some theorists are mainly concerned about pleasing parents
c) every child has different abilities
d) parents want their children to be more successful than others
6. The main idea of the third paragraph is that .
a) the cost of education was very high in the past
b) very intelligent students have various problems in schools
c) fewer children were able to get a good education in the past
d) each child should be treated as an individual
B. What do the following refer to?
1. ‘others’ (line 10): other
2. They’ (line 13):
3. ‘if (line 19): •
4. ‘if (line 26): .
C. Mark the statements as True (T) or False (F).
1. The writer thinks that there should be more emphasis on quality.
2. The writer disagrees with the view that every child must receive the same education.
3. The writer completely agrees that tests are unfair.
4. The writer believes that parents should force their children to be successful.