Personally I would prefer our educational establishments focus on teaching English, Mathematics and Science to the exclusion of "soft" subjects such as Media Studies. I remember examinations being *hard*, and having to apply knowledge I'd gained to work out the answer, not just pick an option from multiple choice. I certainly don't recall being trained for months on end to pass an ultimately artificial and meaningless test simply to satisfy some governmental concept of "quality control".
There was a time when teenagers were capable of stringing sentences together in order to express themselves coherently. These days, it seems, children are taught to "express themselves" vaguely using cliches, "like" and "you know", forcing the onus of comprehension onto the listener, rather than articulating their thoughts and feelings clearly and succinctly to the benefit of all enjoying a conversation.
Equally it seems, children get better marks in examinations for "having a go" than for providing clear, reasoned answers. Presumably taking part, and becoming at one with the herd, is far more important for children these days than striving to improve themselves as individuals.
Perhaps the responsibility for falling educational standards does lie directly at our beloved government's feet. After all, if our children were taught to reason rationally and logically, and taught to express themselves clearly we could be in the devastating position of having a generation of adults who would no longer believe the pseudo-scientific claims made in advertisements for so-called beauty products, who could see the vacuous television programming endemic in our country for the content-free drivel that it truly was, who would no longer accept the spin and disingenuous pronouncements of a corrupt administration, and would possess the necessary vocabulary and language skills needed to express their displeasure clearly and coherently.
What a terrible prospect that would be.
So scratch that. We need more pointless tests and more soft subjects. The less education our children receive during their time at school the better. Perhaps we should broaden History lessons to cover such important topics as Eastenders the early years?