They said ..

16th November 2007 at 00:00
'UK school children come bottom of the class in international awareness' - British Council.We say ...

It would be wonderful if more pupils in Britain were interested in international affairs and foreign languages. But the league table of pupils' "international awareness" is open to question.

It was compiled by surveying 11- to 16-year-olds who had internet access in 10 countries. Instead of asking factual questions, the British Council mostly asked pupils subjective questions about their attitudes. So UK pupils were marked down because they were more likely to consider themselves citizens of their own country than a "citizen of the world" - not necessarily a negative attitude.

Contradicting the headlines, the UK pupils were more likely than most others to say they were interested in international affairs - beating China, Spain, the USA, Czech Republic and Saudi Arabia.

But they were let down because, after US pupils, they were the least likely to agree with the statement "I go out of my way to understand current events in the world" - which could have just been a sign of their honesty.

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