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Its interesting (non-parents) distressing (parents) that schools have almost no vocational element. Now I am not suggesting that kids should be taught how to be a plumber before the age of 14 - or even after, but the reality seems to be that children leave school without many of the key life skills they soon realise they need.

In terms of one of my interests - computers and computing in general, both my daughters left school with qualifications in something the school called "Information and Communication Technology" In fact they both seemed to have passed the exam without recourse to a PC. They had only the faintest idea of how to use common packages like MS Office and no idea how to lay out a business letter, find information on the net or customise a browser to help them with their work.

Encouraging pupils to be comfortable with technology equips them for both the office place and university/higher education and really sort be one of the things that school and colleges are about. In addition to ICT in some flavour things like setting up direct debits and managing money are useful abilities.

I applaud FaceBook and Myspace as useful communication tools which may take the user to other place where skills can be found. But we could be doing so much more.


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