4th December 2009 at 00:00
For God's sake amp; the numbers game

For God's sake

It's clear by now that the role of the modern teacher is to make things easier, whether it's spoon-feeding the answers for exams or just writing students' entire coursework projects because, well, it's not as if they're going to do it.

Now one FE lecturer has taken the ultimate step: creating an effortless route to salvation and eternal life. Jonny Griffiths, a 49-year-old maths lecturer at Paston Sixth Form College in Norfolk, has written a finish-it- in-your-lunchbreak version of the Bible. At just 100 words for each of the 66 books, it is 1.3 per cent the size of the word of God we all know.

A slimmed down Bible could have an appeal far beyond merely being an easy read, much like the notorious 17th-century "Wicked Bible", in which a printing error resulted in the commandment "Thou shalt commit adultery".

As part of this widening participation programme for salvation, FErret proposes a slimline "One Commandment", retaining only the bit about your neighbour's oxen. In this way, we can reach out to under-represented groups such as the godless, the lazy, drunks and fornicators - which should come as a relief to teachers and journalists alike.

The numbers game

With the literacy problem having been vanquished - grocers now not only place their apostrophes correctly but can write you a sonnet about marrows - the next great Skills for Life challenge is numeracy.

And what a challenge it is - particularly, it seems, for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). If its skills investment strategy is anything to go by, a trip back to the classroom might be in order.

As funding and performance consultant Nick Linford pointed out on Twitter, the numbers don't add up, leaving about pound;20 million unaccounted for in the adult learner responsive budget.

FErret can see the value of keeping some money aside for a rainy day, but that's quite a piggy bank. Where is the money going? The BIS Christmas party, perhaps?

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