Communing with nature vs GCSEs: Letter

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The Independent Online
Sir: Imagine being an ordinary kid from, say, inner-city Hackney or Moss Side, trying to explain away your lack of GCSE passes to a potential employer by saying, "Actually, I was wandering through woods, communing with nature ... passionately following interests" (report, 30 July). You'd be consigned to the dole queue for a very long time, if not for life.

There are geniuses like Yehudi Menuhin, of course, who are exceptions in every way. Yet someone taught even the young Yehudi to read and to write, and someone inspired in him a passion for self-instruction. Most people have to rely on school teachers to do this, and teachers certainly get universally criticised if they fail to deliver what, according to your article, only parents with "enormous dedication" will do.

STELLA O'SHEA

London N8

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