Obstacles and opportunities

7th January 2000 at 00:00
I WOULD draw your attention to several surprising - and worrying - aspects of the "Learning for Life" calendar issued to teachers by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, an Equal Opportunities employer.

The images on the calendar are of two females represented as lollipop lady and shopper, and of two males, represented as participants in discussion of issues in the Times and a large male representing the business world.

The quotations on the calendar are all by men. Sir Alexander Fleming's ("Momentous things may happen in a man's free time") refers to only 50 per cent of the population. The motto of the SQ - Your vision, your future - is heavy on irony.

Stereotyping? Role models? Low expectations? I quote from the calendar:

"The new century brings with it a host of new opportunities, as well as challenges to face and obstacles to overcome in many areas of our life . . ."

How strange that the national body for awards in education should itself be creating one of these obstacles rather than striving to overcome it. Indeed, this publication will probably be viewed by thousands of schoolchildren. Is its message what one would expect from such a body?

Fiona Watson Fortrose Academy, Ross-shire


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