Tuesday, 24 August 2010

A Star or A Farce?

Another year, another rise in exam pass marks. Based on current trends, everyone who is able to get up in the morning and navigate their way to the school hall will be walking off with an A by 2093.

A quarter of everyone who sat A Levels this year, got awarded an A. Well done them. What I don’t get then, is why the standard of Graduate job applicants seems to be falling at the same rate as A level pass rates are climbing?

I am not saying this to be nasty, or to defend my own rather ropey A-Level results (GCSEs were marvellous though). I am saying this for the sake of my family. For the people that see me open another email sent late at night from pinkandsparkly@hotmail.com, who begins her quest for a career in PR by writing, “I hope your well.” You hope my well is what? Full? Nicely renovated? The actual well that featured in Ding Dong nursery rhyme?

After polite enquires about the state of my garden feature, they go onto tell me that they have always wanted a career in pubic relation’s. Nice touch - suggest I familiarise myself people’s nether regions for a living and then stick an errant apostrophe in for good measure.

I could go on and, as I find myself in quite a bad mood on this autumnal August day, I will. People that don’t use capitals in my name. People that have recently graduted from University. People that have spoke to many PR agency’s already - all of them get on my goat.

It’s fantastic that these people can tell me why Ferdinand married Isabella, the difference between Igneous and Sedimentary rock and the cause of the Potato Famine – but it would be better if they could actually string a sentence together. They would then be able to actually get a job to pay off their vast swathes of university debt that we hear so much about.

The reason that I am so cross, is because I get the distinct impression that this isn’t the fault of the students. More and more of them seemed to be a bit like well trained monkeys. Teachers have got a handle on how to get decent A Level pass rates, and grammar doesn’t feature very highly in this – so they skip that bit out and go straight to lesson titled, “Past Exam Papers. Hints and Tips”.

As a result, British businesses have to go back to school and teach students the fundamentals of English Language before letting them loose on clients and customers. What a complete and utter waste of everyone’s time.

Surely, the point of education is to equip the youth of today (and now I really do sound like my Grandmother on a bad day) with the skills they need to just get on in life? Unless you intend to make a career out of pub quizzes (which, whilst fun, wouldn’t chip away at the Student Loan very quickly), under the current system, you are going to struggle.

I am being a bit mean here as there are some brilliant graduates out there – and we have been lucky enough to employ quite a few – but I feel mean when I shout down my computer at yet another graduate with an inane hotmail name and total lack of dictionary knowledge. No, they can’t hear me but they aren’t going to get a job in public relations (or even pubic relation’s) for that matter – and what’s the point of all those A-grades then?

1 comment:

  1. I couldn’t agree more with your post and in hindsight I’m glad my poor grasp of English and grammar was outweighed by my inability to get my dial-up connection working well enough to send an email containing any kind of attachment. God bless the Internet circa 2000!