The good people of the Training and Development Agency for Schools quango have funded a scheme with a £35,000 grant to “celebrate the gay community” in maths, geography and science. This initiative is not about educating children, directly, about the joys of diversity through the LGBT community but the curiously needless concern that these subjects do not include homosexuality in the framing of examples.
David Watkins, a teacher involved in the scheme said : “When you have a maths problem why does it have to involve a straight family or a boyfriend and a girlfriend? Why not two boys or two girls?” I fully accept that it was a few years since I was last taught maths but for me we managed perfectly well with letters and numbers, whether it was framed in the context of a conventional nuclear family never entered the equation, let alone whether the person in the example was gay.
Other examples in the teaching of geography is “Asking why homosexuals move from the countryside to the cities” – do they? Or, also in maths, teaching statistics through census findings about the number of homosexuals in the population.
Whilst this may only be £35000 – this is my tax and a few others for the whole year being spent on something which is not essential in this time of austerity. When we have an education system that produces people who cannot read, write or do simple arithmetic, are we spending good money on this nonsense. There are plenty of other ways in which these issues can be discussed and developed without interfering in core subjects. It says a lot about the people who are running these establishments; they clearly don’t have much in the way of common sense, feeling of responsibility or prioritisation over spending public money.
Why stop at members of the LGBT community – there are plenty of ethnic/social minorities who may feel under-represented in the maths questions if this proceeded. How far could this rank stupidity go?
I have always thought that there is a big element of the educational establishment who have completely lost the plot, and think loftily about their calling – concentrate on teaching children the core subjects, and do it well – homosexuality is not a maths problem!