The focus on what education should be all about – equipping people with basic understanding, skills, and competencies – is fast disappearing. In many places it has already gone. Students in schools are the poorer for what has been lost.

Included are the following. They are not in any particular order of importance, but the fact that these capacities are no longer taught or have been lost is a sad reflection on education.

• Handwriting skills are no longer taught. Children do not know how to hold writing tools.

• Tables are no longer taught. Calculators apparently suffice, meaning that children can manage computational skills with the aid of the device but they do not have any knowledge or cognitive understanding of what they are doing.

• Reading for comprehension is no longer important. Students don’t have to understand the meaning behind the words that they are reading. Ignorance however, is NOT bliss.

• Spelling is no longer important and not taught in the same way as used to be the case. Word building and understanding now have their repository in history. Contemporary teaching is minimal if at all. Why learn what spellcheck will fix, at least after a fashion.

That is just part of what education has lost.

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