May 25, 2001 Article
THE STANDARD of textbook defacement in British classrooms, once the highest in the world, is slipping, according to a new report by education watchdogs.
Ofsted inspectors examined Religious Education GCSE books and compared them with their counterparts from just 10 years ago. And their findings have shocked school chiefs.
According to the report, more than TWO THIRDS of children are leaving school without even a basic understanding of how to deface R.E. textbooks properly.
When presented with an illustration of the Sermon on the Mount, 42% of 14- year-olds drew big round glasses on Jesus, 39% drew a Hitler moustache and coloured his teeth in, and only 19% correctly added an 8 foot snakelike penis appearing from under his robes and going into someone’s ear.
One large London comprehensive was singled out for particular criticism after not a single pupil managed to satisfactorily deface a picture handed to them by inspectors.
“Year eight pupils were given forty seconds to embellish a scene of Noah herding the animals into his ark,” said report author Dave Clark-Five.
“Ten years ago, a child of thirteen would have found little difficulty in drawing a huge cock on the elephant going up Noah’s robe, and adding a speech balloon reading ‘Mmmm yeh. Fuk my arse’. Not only were these pupils incapable of that, they were even unable to scribble a big hairy fanny and a pair of ‘W’ tits with stick nipples onto an illustration of the Virgin Mary.”
However, the report was not all bad news for schools. Mr. Clark-Five said: “One encouraging aspect of our research is that girls, who are traditionally expected to perform less well in areas such as science, technology and obscene textbook defacement, seem to be getting better results. Nowadays, if presented with an illustration of Moses descending Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, girls are just as likely as boys to add a speech balloon reading ‘sniff my dick’.”