DESPITE being a bright kid at school, there were two subjects where I fared badly: maths.
So I was delighted to learn that Education Secretary Michael Gove has hatched a plan to make the subject more appealing to sixth-formers.
His idea is to make the mathematical exercises and problems more “relevant” to real life, which sounds like an excellent idea. Presumably, they will look something like this. Pencils at the ready please, class.
1. If Kevin gets the 1104 slow train from Liverpool to London and Kylie gets the 1226 rapid service, at what time will they meet in Crewe for the rail replacement bus service?
2. Mrs Brown brings a large fruit cake (diameter 45cm) into school to celebrate her birthday, intending to divide it equally between the 26 children in her class. Among the 26 pupils are two vegans, a fruitarian, six fasting Muslims (did I mention Mrs Brown’s birthday falls during Ramadan?), three Atkins dieters and 10 children who claim to have nut allergy, 80% of whom are hypochondriacs. Why did Mrs Brown bother to bring a cake in?
3. If John has six Apples and Mary has four Apples, how long before Nokia just throws in the towel?
4. If John has six apples and Mary has four apples, why is that, like, so unfair?
5. If John has six apples and Mary has four apples, and they wish to share them equally, how quickly will their teacher be reprimanded for failing to reflect the ethnic diversity of British society?
6. If Sudip has six apples and Abayomi has four apples, what are their chances of making it to the chippy and back during morning break?
7. If Sudip has a kebab (1000 calories) and Abayomi has a battered sausage (600 calories), at what time will Jamie Oliver arrive to publicly humiliate their dinner lady?
8. If Sudip has roast chicken (cooking time: 1 hour) and Abayomi has couscous salad (cooking time 15 minutes), at what time will Jamie stop patronising them, dude?
9. If the national curriculum people bow to the public’s every whimsical demand that pupils spend their school time learning to cook healthy food, not get pregnant, team-building, play competitive sport, play non-competitive sport, show empathy, Empire, use social skills, use social services, the Buena Vista Social Club, speed awareness, speed dating, speed tanning and the basics of vajazzling, in what year would our nation cease to function?
10. If a Conservative Government makes traditionalist reforms to the education system, and a Labour government makes progressive ones, and each party stays in power for alternate decades, how much real change will be made over the next 60 years?
(For correct answers, do not turn to the back of the book, because there are no correct answers. Just tell me how you feel.)