19 December 2006

"Helping" gifted children

Another terrible article about gifted children in the Sunday Times of Dec 17th, entitled: ‘How to stop a gift turning into a curse’ (by Sian Griffiths). Answer: you can’t, because gifted children are automatically cursed by being in a society that is hostile to ability, in fact to individualism in any form.

But, a person in the position of making arrangements for gifted children may hope, when they are thrown out at the end of their ruined ‘educations’ with no way of entering a suitable career, or of becoming rich enough to set up a suitable environment for themselves in which to achieve some self fulfilment, that they will be too psychologically smashed up to whinge about it.
Under the next £60m, four-year contract to CfBT (Centre for British Teachers), from next autumn, parents and teachers will get ‘credits’ to ‘spend’ on trips, exhibitions, lectures and extra teaching in and out of school.
Note that using these ‘credits’ to help the gifted take more exams at a younger age than normal is not mentioned.

This, I suppose, is the sort of ‘help’ for gifted youngsters on which the government proposes to spend more of taxpayers’ money. This, of course, will have the effect of increasing taxation of those, like myself, who are thrown out at the end with no tolerable way of earning money, and with a need to build up capital out of anything they can make for themselves to the point where they can provide themselves with the circumstances which they should have been able to obtain from a suitable career.

Thus, it may be seen that providing more ‘help’ for those who are in the clutches of the system, will be an added disadvantage to those whose lives have already been damaged by it, and are working, in circumstances already difficult and disadvantaged, towards remedying its effects.

It is absurd to suggest that the government, and the ideology in general, is not doing ‘enough’ to destroy the lives of the ‘gifted and talented’. If there were any real desire to help them, they might be provided with independent incomes, or, at the least, tax credits when they are thrown out with no way of earning even a living, let alone the cost of the institutional environment which they may need, as I certainly did and still do, within which to work towards a satisfactory and productive life. Actually, a large tax-free capital sum, entirely free of strings as to how it was to be spent, would be the best thing.

This organisation, called the Centre for British Teachers (CfBT), has been set up to provide destructive ‘help’ for the gifted. As a former, and present, victim of the system I can only say how much I deplore this development, and how strongly I advise the parents of the gifted, and gifted children and teenagers themselves, to shun and avoid all contact with it, as well as with state schools as in general.