Readers' letters - August 28

What's happened to education system?

It was announced that this year’s A-Level results show that boys had done better than girls for the first time in 17 years.

However, I write to ask if anyone can explain what is happening to our once excellent English education?

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Listen to many members of the population educated since 1980 and the standard of English is littered with errors.

Over a period of time, I’ve noticed the same basic mistakes being made by people educated in, not just different schools, but different areas.

Some of the many people I have listened to have at least one degree. The various degrees are awarded by a number of different universities. In common with the schools, the relevant universities are scattered throughout Britain.

Surely, the secondary schools and universities have a responsibility to correct any mistakes being made by primary schools?

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Similarly, if the source of these basic errors is beyond its boundaries, why isn’t the education system correcting them?

Given the amount of unnecessary stress and chaos it already causes in some schools, this situation also prompts me to ask about the point and value of Ofsted.

So far, despite considering British and foreign television programmes, computer software, and other influences, I’ve been unable to identify the source of some of these errors. Perhaps your readers can help?

The following are just some of many examples: “I have spoke to John.” (I have spoken to John).

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“You will be took off the system.” (You will be taken off the system).

“I’ll meet you at the train station.” (I’ll meet you at the railway station).

Correcting such errors is important. Correct use of language influences many facets of life, including social development. The English language is an essential part of who we are as a species, and it is our joint duty to ensure we educate future generations to use it correctly.

Mr M N Wooff

Address supplied


Robo-trucks won’t work here

So the government has provided £8.1m for trials so that platoons of driverless lorries can hurtle up and down Britain’s crumbling and overstretched road system from 2018.

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The big idea apparently being that there are big savings to be made on fuel and emissions due to slipstreaming, a little bit

like the way rail carriages follow one another, do they mean?

So surely it might make sense to forget the idea and invest the money in the local rail networks the Government seems so set upon ignoring, which could join seamlessly up with

the new high speed rail lines?

Did the ministers who tell us how much healthier, cheaper and safer the new ‘robo trucks’ will be for us all, not consider that we might be even healthier and safer it would be if they weren’t on the roads at all?

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The argument that trials in Europe and America (neither of which are small crowded islands) were successful, so it must work in the UK, a theory which was applied to, amongst other things, super casinos and fracking, which is surely wearing a little thin by now.

Mark Bryant



Business at the end of tunnel?

This crazy dash for high speed trains all over the place is literally mad in the long run.

For, if we look at all those nations that have this, they have not created a dynamic economy.

You can see this clearly with Japan as a mere single example, which has been in the economic doldrums for nearly 30 years with no basic economic growth and, in many ways after inflation and currency fluctuations are taken into account, negative economic growth.

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But there is no doubt that we shall have the same result because, at the end of the day, we shall not have created any significant new technological industries, just like all these countries with their high speed trains and more economic stagnation payback.

All this folly will, of course – through a great deal of pure individual vested-interests involved from those who are pushing for all these new trains and what runs on them – provide substantial financial benefit for them.

We – the taxpayers – will pick up all the bills as usual, that will no doubt eventually exceed £100bn-plus.

What about creating the unending formation of new technological industries and future jobs for all our generations to come?

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For we have the creativity and brains but where this apparently is lacking with our politicians is they simply want to build fast train lines in the hope that business will be there at the end of the tunnel.

Dr David Hill

Address supplied


Don’t panic, keep calm

Just to add further comment to Ken Fleming’s letter on the quality of driving, I am 76 and a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the quality of driving generally is rubbish (LP Letters, August 17). In addition, how often do you see drivers at a mini roundabout looking at each other? They seem totally ignorant of going AROUND the roundabout.

The number of times I have taken my car into a garage to look for a magnet in my rear bumper which appears to attract BMWs, Mercs and Audis is countless but, as yet, no magnet found, and I am a quick driver.

And while this is not a comment aimed directly at drivers – how often do you see individuals come up to pedestrian lights, press the button and then find no traffic in sight. They walk across and then cars arrive and there’s no-one at the lights– stupid!

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However if you accept that 50 per cent of the population are thick, and that 50 per cent of them are really thick, those driving problems are to be expected – don’t panic, keep calm.

Peter Foster



Get a dog

and get fit

We are being advised by the Government to take more exercise. The number of people who seem to most need this advice can be easily identified by their roly poly waistlines and laboured breathing.

To get the best out of the advice is really quite simple: get a dog. Owners of dogs must get out every day or their pooch will complain.

In a very short while. the extra activity becomes part of daily routine and is less of a chore, assuming you walk the dog and not someone else.

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If owning a dog is not right for you, then borrow a neighbours for 10 or 15 minutes each day: their dog will be delighted. This option costs nothing and may be a welcome help to your neighbour, especially where they have restricted mobility. A word of caution, owning a dog is a serious commitment, so only go for this if you can sustain it. The reward will be significant in more ways than one.

Mike Lowry (a happy dog owner)

via email