Fun and games in a former life;The week in view

5th February 1999 at 00:00
In a week when the nation was agog at the fate of football coach, Glenn Hoddle, and beset with the serious business of the size of teachers' pay packets, we could turn to fun, games and sex.

Dozens of schools in London are taking part in a health authority initiative which encourages teenage girls to take care of an egg for a week as though it were a baby to give them a taste of life as a carer and guardian.

Should this fail to make them less reckless they may find themselves in a hostel for unmarried mums if the Government's latest wheeze comes to fruition. Critics say these would be little better than workhouses.

Fathers should not be forgotten: an Oxford University-supported study has shown that dads who devote even as little as five minutes a day listening to their boys are giving them a better chance in life.

If, on the other hand, the father is absent, indifferent or hostile to his son, then the lad is liable to become depressed and self-denigrating, unsuccessful at school and delinquent in the outside world. What a surprise.

For those seeking solace, better not turn to the Christian Fellowship: heads of their 20 independent schools are challenging the Government's ban on physical punishment at the European Court of Human Rights. Heads say outlawing beating in independent schools infringes parental rights and religious beliefs. Ah, le vice Anglais...

However, Japanese teachers, known at one time for their draconian punishments, are facing a backlash from unruly pupils, driving them to the psychiatrist's couch, or even to suicide.Teaching experts and media pundits blame the mayhem on a breakdown of family values, junk food and too much television.

Even the tabloids were shocked by a mum who lets her two-year-old play a violent video game, GoldenEye, for up to six hours a day. Psychologists fear for his moral and social development, especially as one of the few words he knows is: "Die."

Lecturers at Bradford University who may be thinking of making a play for an attractive student or colleague are being encouraged to keep a log of romances, dubbed the love book. This will help to prevent charges of favouritism which can arise when affairs are suspected.

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