Letter: Major and the manufacturers

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The Independent Online
Sir: John Major in his interview ('Major sets out his revolutionary credentials, 4 March) may be wrong to suppose that encouraging science in education will do much to reverse the traditional patrician and patronising British attitude to manufacturing as brutish, exploitative and dirty (and rather difficult in a competitive world).

Nowhere in basic education are youngsters exposed to the fascination and joy of creating value through putting things together and making decisions. The endless emphasis on knowledge, description and analysis does not encourage the needed skills of 'making things and making things happen'. The only exposure youngsters have to business is in playing Monopoly, a game which emphasises all the very worst features of capitalism: greed, luck, exploitation, speculation and the rentier attitude.

For a long time there has been a need for a significant part of school education to be focused upon value creation (in business and government). Youngsters would find this fascinating and would leave school with a different set of attitudes towards business. This needs to be done in a serious way rather than with the usual tokenism. For too long has descriptive academia dictated an education that was relevant two hundred years ago.

Yours faithfully,



The Cognitive Research Trust

London, W1

4 March