5 MAY 1961, Page 14


S:11,--Monica Furlong quotes a survey of parents' attitudes to their children's schooling, saying that they 'were concerned predominantly with the jobs their children would get, not with the enrichment of their personality.' How I agree with them.

'll'hy?' It seems to me ridiculous to expect a teacher, however talented, to 'enrich the personalities' of the twenty or thirty or more children in his class. Cer- tainly his lessons should be as interesting as possible, but basically he should be concerned with teaching his pupils to work cheerfully and effectively at sub- jects which they may well find both difficult and boring in order that they may pass the necessary examinations to qualify for interesting and satis- fying jobs. And incidentally there is no job, however fascinating, which does not have its boring and diffi- cult aspects, and the ability to tackle these as a matter of course is invaluable.

To my mind, it is the parents' job to 'enrich their children's personalities'—or to give them every op- portunity possible to do this for themselves. The more parents who are willing to shoulder this re- sponsibility and the more teachers who are willing to take a realistic view of their profession, the better it will be for the children.—Yours faithfully,