Two items of news regarding education have caught my attention this week.
First off was the suggestion that children should be taught gambling in school.
Experts from some organisation that wants us all to gamble safely and sensibly claims that if kids learnt about the odds of certain outcomes happening they would not grow up being so desperate for just that one big win to wipe out their huge gambling debt, give them all the money to do the things they only dream about because they can’t afford to do anything as they spend all their weekly disposable and more in the bookies, or more likely these days gambling online, or to give them a big enough stake to get into the Cincinatti Kid big game going off this Friday upstairs at Dirty Eric’s.
Kids of course are quite capable of working out the odds of actually getting a detention for trying to put a frog down Natalie’s trousers cos she’s a swotty, speccy brainbox. It is of course zero cos Mum and significant other will be onto the Board of Governors, The Sun and Max Clifford if anyone dares try to discipline little Jaydon.
They also know that you needn’t bother doing the homework, as although the curriculum states that teachers must set homework, there is no requirement that children are obliged to complete it or hand it in.
As a child you soon learn that the chances of you a) being chosen as team captain in PE lessons or b) being one of the last two to be chosen and it being obvious that neither team wants you are completely dependent on your sporting ability or lack thereof and your social popularity, ditto.
However, the bods in the gambling organisation think that if we can get all the kids to have a firm grasp of odds no one will be liable to re-mortgage the house for the sake of the dog in trap 6 on a wet Thursday at White City.
Just like sex education has completely eradicated teenage pregnancy and STDs, and drug and alcohol education has seen a generation of sober individuals leading fine upstanding lives. Not.
The other thing that caught my eye was the idea that children should be taught how to use money in Primary school.
What do we do about this? Blame Jamie Oliver for demonising unhealthy food such as crisps, choclate biscuits and pop thus leading to the demise of the school tuck shop, taking away the kiddies opportunity to use money in a real setting?
Or perhaps we should blame the rise of the plastic card, how many people actually hold the folding these days? Money must seem as magical as a Hogwarts banquet, as much as you want appearing out of thin air.
And of course it’s not just the children that think that way, bankers and politicians certainly seem to think if you want more you just wave your piece of plastic and there it is.
So lessons in handling money should comprise the fine art of maxing out your credit card then getting a different one so you can borrow to pay off the existing one ad infinitum.
Get the kids used to this and they’ll be able to gamble online using their credit cards, too busy to go out and socialise and therefore ultimately to procreate and eventually the problem will sort itself out.
Or at least you could get decent odds on it at SafeBet.
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