Monday, May 28, 2012

Bribes

It must really be disheartening to be a good pupil in today's better schools, here you are flogging your guts out to try and get decent results, you turn up day after day hoping to get ahead despite everything the state and teachers can do to prevent you and your reward at the end of the day is a university place (if you're lucky) and a mountain of debt. Meanwhile the scrote brigade who infest the next school over school and only occasionally turn up to lessons gets 'prizes' for doing so...
Mail.
Hundreds of secondary schools are using a controversial reward scheme which ‘bribes’ pupils with iPods, DVD players and shopping vouchers to turn up to lessons and do homework, it has emerged.
Almost one million schoolchildren have been issued with supermarket-style reward cards which allow them to collect good-behaviour ‘points’ and cash them in for prizes.
Schools taking part in the ‘Vivo Miles’ scheme are spending several thousand pounds a year on incentives in an attempt to cut truancy and boost achievement.
The prizes are ultimately funded by the taxpayer, through school budgets.
Youngsters can choose from a vast range of products in an online catalogue, including Xbox games, hair straighteners and cinema vouchers.
Nearly 500 secondary schools, one in six, are signed up to the scheme, which is intended to replace old-style rewards such as stickers, gold stars and house points.
But the extent of incentives being offered in schools brought a warning last night that a generation of children is growing up expecting to be rewarded at every stage.
I never missed a day at school in so far as I remember, I even turned up after I had stitches in my knee after a football injury. Did I know education was important? Well not as I do today, but I had a better understanding of what would happen if I failed to turn up. Yes we had truants in those days too, however we had truancy officers who would approach any kids out and about during school hours and ask them just why they weren't at school. God help you if you didn't have a genuine reason and God help you when your parents got a hold of you too (in most cases, though I suspect a bit of rot had set in even then, this was the early 70's after all)
Whilst I can see the reasons for rewarding good behaviour, it shouldn't be in the form of prizes, the corollary as well should be that bad behaviour is punished, but again we all know that isn't going to happen either.
My company operates a bonus scheme, it's based on results, it's not based on everyone simply turning up it's not based on jobs well done. I'm pretty good at my job, but I don't make a profit directly for the company save only in the form of the contract that they have with the company I work at. Indirectly I do of course, if we don't do a good job here we lose the contract. If I were to find some way to expand the business of my company here, then that would contribute so in essence I get my bonus in the shape and form of the efforts of others mostly our sales force. In the end though the bonus works on us all doing well, not individuals and that is where this school scheme is wrong, it amounts to individual bribes for doing what they ought to be doing in the first place.
That doesn't happen in the real world (except possibly in public services)
It teaches a bad example.

4 annotations:

Macheath said...

It's yet another insane extrapolation; wolly-minded progressives - many of whom only ever enter classrooms as observers while someone else did the crowd-control - decided that the carrot is always better than the stick.

With a big enough carrot, they argue, you don't need a stick at all.

The most deluded even argue that low self-esteem and deprivation are key causes of poor behaviour; thus the miscreant must be cherished and indulged to level the playing field - well-behaved pupils are clearly already sufficiently privileged so it's not unfair, it's only rectifying the situation (or, as we might call it, social engineering).

tris said...

Yes. Madness.

I think it is probably better if you are born with a title and/or endless amounts of money. In that case you can go to Eton and then 'up' to Oxford and ...well, money buys whatever you need if there's enough of it.

Hence people who can't draw get good art qualifications, and people who know sh*t about history seen to get Firsts in the subject.

Amazing how bright titles and money can make one.

Among other jobs I have had, I have taught French...one of the least popular subjects, coming, as it does, just under Latin in the list of things one needs... After all foreigners do (or at least should) all speak English. Or so the kids tell me, when I point out how important it could be.

However, if you make the subject interesting; if you actually think about your audience (and think of them as such, for that is what they are) and you keep them entertained whilst teaching them, you never need to worry about truants. I've never had impoliteness, never had anyone miss my class, never had any problems of discipline, and all because, although I say it myself, and shouldn't, I do a good class. It's interactive; there's lots of laughter; there's no need for me ever to say "sit down, be quiet".

Having to bribe people to turn up at school is a sign of pathetic parenting and boring teaching... and the headmasters, or rectors or whatever you have in England, should be doing something about it for their £100,000 a year.

Restoring Britain said...

Strange isn't it that they're happy to make this connection between tying money towards attending but they recoil at the prospect of reducing benefit for those when the kids don't attend.

You've got love the logic - they turn up give 'em more money. They don't turn up and the answer apparently is still give 'em more money.

James Higham said...

The best bribe's a clip around the earhole, not that I ever did, of course.