SCHOOL IS NOT THE PLACE FOR LES­SON IN OUR HIS­TORY, MIKE

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

ED­U­CA­TION Sec­re­tary Michael Gove is ap­par­ently ap­palled that so few kids sign up to study GCSE His­tory.

Fewer than 30% of young­sters in our com­pre­hen­sive schools took the sub­ject and last year, and 159 comps didn’t en­ter a sin­gle pupil.

This sur­prises me not a jot. Be­cause his­tory – as it is taught in schools – is a load of old arse.

In fact, school is the place where the most in­ter­est­ing sub­jects are turned into dull-as­ditch­wa­ter dogsh*te.

Look at an­other sub­ject: Physics. Him out of D:ream – Pro­fes­sor Brian Cox – makes TV pro­grammes that show what a bril­liant sub­ject it is.

Yet I re­call physics classes with dread. What a crash­ing bore they were.

But back to his­tory. I’ve al­ways been fas­ci­nated by the sub­ject but didn’t study it atGCSE – be­cause the syl­labus looked about as in­ter­est­ing as watch­ing hair grow.

Back in my day, it was all about what peas­ants ate for sup­per and what sort of shoes they wore in work­houses.

Thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather play with the sharp things in the met­al­work room.

These days, at least, the syl­labus looks like it con­tains a few more flashes and bangs – but it ain’t go­ing to throw up the next Si­mon Schama.

Here’s what’s on of­fer, ac­cord­ing to the BBC re­vi­sion web­site: World War One and Two, The Cold War, Bri­tain 19051951, Ger­many 1918-1939, Rus­sia/ USSR 1905-1941, USA 1919-1941, Viet­nam 1954-1975, North­ern Ire­land 1965-1985, Medicine Through Time, Amer­i­can West, Ger­many 1918-1939.

You could get the ba­sic low­down on all of the above by watch­ing the His­tory Chan­nel for an af­ter­noon.

And I’ll bet the telly will present it in a more en­ter­tain­ing way than some half-ar­sed teacher won­der­ing when she can next get away with go­ing on strike.

What about pre-1900? The Boer War? The Bat­tle of Water­loo? Ce­cil Rhodes? In­dia?

Where are the Tu­dor mon­archs? The Great Plague? The Ar­mada? The Nor­mans? The Ro­mans?

Any­one with a pass­ing in­ter­est in his­tory would be sold short by the sub­ject as it is taught in schools. In fact, kids tak­ing his­tory at GCSE will prob­a­bly grow to hate the sub­ject.

His­tory’s the way we make sense of what’s hap­pen­ing to­day. It’s fas­ci­nat­ing and ex­cit­ing – and far too im­por­tant to be left to teach­ers in the class­room.

So Mr Gove, don’t be down­hearted that so few kids are learn­ing his­tory at school, be­cause that’s the worst pos­si­ble place to find out about it.

SUP­POSE I should say Happy Christ­mas at this point.

And if my say­ing Happy Christ­mas of­fends you, f*** off!

THE last U.S. troops have pulled out of Iraq, al­most nine years af­ter the in­va­sion.

That went well, didn’t it?

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