Passing out the Rab C Nesbitt way

Recent news that the Scottish scourge of the monks of Buckfast Abbey has decreed that a Labour government would seek to introduce parenting into the curriculum gladdens the heart. Yet another topical tab for the schools to pick up, replacing the ennui that is the daily classroom grind.

Supposedly the topic is for the upcoming generation, but it might be equally helpful for their own parents, trauchled as they sometimes are. Would it be too late for one parent I heard of recently who was bemoaning being fined Pounds 30 for her offspring's non-attendance?

She was refusing to pay, she said, not because she didn't have the money, but because 30 days in Cornton Vale seemed like bliss compared to the joy of living with her son.

We've seen off peace studies, not yet succumbed to civics, staggered through social education and fended off core skills. The curriculum is fair game for all sorts of interested parties, but whether as a hoopla stall or a coconut shy it's still "Roll up, roll up - three shots for 50p".

In an attempt to focus on the road ahead, between (pace Alfred Doolittle) the Scylla of the present lot and the Charybdis of any new Labour proposals waiting in the wings, your intrepid correspondent contacted Rab C Nesbitt for an overview of recent curriculum development in his own Kollege of Knowledge.

"Curriculum planning is it? Let me tell you this boy - I've seen better planning on the back of a Capstan packet. You want Standard grades - ah'll gie ye Standard grades.

"You can dae eight Standard grades in your school - so whit? See in ma school - ye can dae 17. Forty minutes each. Nae bother! S grade Russian, S grade Spanish, S grade cooking, S grade counting, S grade techy - ah've loast count, but that's about eight.

"Time? It's no' a problem - just fit the time to whit the weans dae.

"Cooking - it's wee scones, nane o' yir pavlovas or macaronis or any o' that foreign muck - naw, just a wee scone, pop it in the oven - Credit level cuisine in 40 minutes.

"See they languages, Raymondo - you don't mind me calling you Raymondo - they don't need more than 40 minutes either! Seasy! Just learn a' the wee words - bound tae communicate a' the same keech as the big wans. Whit dae ye mean - talking? A talking whit? Component?

"Whit the hell is that? Sounds like sumfin' oot a motor car. There's nae problem - a' they stupid foreign eejits talk dead fast, so you jist get the weans tae run a' the words thegither.

"Techy's the same, just cut a slice aff they daft wee toast racks the kids make. Whit's it matter if it's only gonny haud five slices of Sunblest, it's still a Credit toast rack if you don't get a skelf in yir tongue when ye eat the breid.

"In ma school when the weans hiv knocked aff the 17 S grades there's aye time for a wee splash about in the modules - get ma drift - know whit a' mean - the world's their oxter.

"Beard and moustache trimming (that's for the lassies - nae sexism in ma school), bar-room fittings, sunbed maintenance, aquatics, robotics, pneumatics, hermetics - they try them a'.

"An' let me tell you this, boy - there's nane o' this management mince in ma school. See your 'Annual Management Cycle' - ye can get oan yir bike and pedal aff into the sunset oan that, so help me boy".

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