Thursday, November 05, 2009

Trouble with girls

Another day, another crisis: it turns out that too many girls are getting educated. The problem, it seems, is that the education system is too girl-friendly, since it rewards students who can think for themselves rather than those who require hand-holding. It seems that the girls are in the former category and the boys in the latter. So, despite all the best efforts of men to make manly values - like teamwork and sporting ability - central to the education system, those pesky girls have won again.

Of course, this worrying trend will have consequences: "women will reach a point where they can step into a management role, but will leave mid-career to have children, creating a hole in company structures that risks it losing vital knowledge." They might start demanding equal pay for equal work as well, and who knows where that will end?

John Morris, headmaster of Auckland Grammar - a school which traditionally has done everything it can to beat any signs of individuality and sissyness out of its boys - blames it all on the NCEA. That is the trouble with continuous assessment: it is much too fair. But the Ministry thinks it has things right and that the system is boy-friendly.

Of course we have had this sort of problem before. About the middle of the last century, the education systems of most countries in the West turned out to be far too Jew-friendly: Jews were taking all the best jobs in classical music and Quantum Mechanics. Fortunately, we now have a culture where education is scarcely valued at all, while sporting ability is regarded as the highest human achievement. So it does not really matter that Jews do a lot of the clever jobs, because they are useless at Sport, which is what really matters.

Equally, the present crisis can be averted, both by adjusting the education system to make it more boy-friendly, while devaluing all the things that girls are good at doing, like learning. It may take a while, but normalcy can be restored. Otherwise, we will have to put up with this sort of thing.


Giovanni said...

I'm going to have to (partly) disagree. I think the new curriculum is in fact exciting news and not a way of devaluing learning at all, quite the contrary.

Paul said...

I have gone too far. My satire is too obscure even for you, Dottore.

I agree with you about the new curriculum. What I find distasteful is that someone from the ministry should insist that it really is boy-friendly and so will make everything all right in the end. Rather than wailing about male under-achievement, the Ministry should be applauding the over-achievement of girls, despite the obstacles that are constantly put in front of them.

The biggest of these obstacles is our blokeish culture, which treats any idiot who has been an All Black as if he were a god and which applauds fuckwits like Paul Henry, who is allowed to insult a woman for her appearance on public television.

As for the curriculum, it should be compulsory. The heads of those schools which offer Cambridge (an exam designed for rote-learning in Third World countries) should be sacked.

Giovanni said...

I'm more upset that the author of the article presented female achievement exclusively as a problem - the Ministry is more understandable preoccupied with its mandate to address areas of poor achievement. I have every hope that the curriculum will help without holding the girls back.

Giovanni said...

Making that "understandably", so as not to create too much of an area of poor achievement in the comments thread.