Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/02/teacher_votes/

Teachers vote to ban internet

Miniskirts, The Beatles, gramophones next on list?

By Joe Fay

Posted in Government, 2nd August 2007 11:48 GMT

British teachers have launched an all out war against technology, with calls this week to ban YouTube and Wi-Fi. Pupils under the age of seven or over 16 have also come in for a whacking from fed-up Sirs and Misses.

Technology has proliferated in schools in recent years, with teachers getting their coffee and roll-up stained fingers on oodles of PCs and digital whiteboards, all lashed together with Wi-Fi and fast internet connections

But Phillip Parkin, general secretary of the Professional Teachers Association, told the organization’s annual conference yesterday that the nation’s children were being used as “guinea pigs” in a massive Wi-Fi safety experiement.

Parkin demanded an inquiry into the technology, pointing to a range of maladies which could be down to radio waves cooking the brains of pupils and teachers alike. These include loss of concentration, fatigue, reduced memory and headaches.

As everyone knows, no student or teacher in the UK ever suffered from any of the above before the Labour government started spending billions of tax payer money dragging the education system out of the 1960s/1860s [delete as appropriate].

Parkin’s demand that schools replace their digital networks with pieces of slate linked by string coincided with the union’s calling for the banning of YouTube and other sites for hosting videos of teenagers attacking one another, and even worse, teachers.

When El Reg asked if the union had been in touch with Google to complain about any videos in particular, a spokesman told us we were impertinent for speaking without putting our hand up, then said they’d get back to us. They haven’t. So much for speaking up on bullying. Still, the motion was carried.

The PAT’s other targets this week included government plans to raise the school leaving age in the UK to 18, in the hopes that some of the nation’s youth might actually pick up some useful skills. The conference voted against the plans.

The conference also declared that the UK’s children should not start school till the age of seven, instead of four or five, as they do now.

So there you have it, the UK’s education system is in a state, but all will be OK if teachers don’t have to use computers, networks, or have to deal with any kids. Alternatively, summer holidays could just be extended to 52 weeks per year.®

Bootnote

Funnily enough, every motion the Professional Association of Teachers debated was carried. Perhaps they should open a branch in China.