Letter: Real education

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The Independent Online
YOUR ARTICLE "Language, truth and the dangers of mass education" by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (June 27) referred to "compulsory schooling". School is not compulsory. My family is one of the 10,000 families in the UK educating our child at home because we share your writer's view that education and schooling have little in common. Schools are little more than a free childminding service in a society that distrusts, even dislikes, children. At primary-school level the 3Rs, laboured over at length in these institutions, can be picked up fairly effortlessly in the real world, when a child is ready and therefore receptive. Many home educators can testify to this. At secondary school, the information crammed into children so they can jump through the hoops known as exams is quickly forgotten - how much do you remember?

How to produce decent, thinking citizens for the future? Give children rights, respect and responsibility. And you really don't see much of those 3Rs in schools, only lip service to them. The results of our disregard for the real needs of human beings in their formative years are depressing, frightening, and all around us.

JANE DENT

London SE16

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