The British educational marvel

Dalrymple asks: 'How is it possible for so many children, not of defective intelligence, to emerge from an education costing approximately £60,000 per child, still unable to perform the simplest arithmetical operations and almost totally ignorant of history, geography and many other subjects? How is this miracle of inefficiency performed?

How is it possible for so many children, not of defective intelligence, to emerge from an education costing approximately £60,000 per child, still unable to perform the simplest arithmetical operations and almost totally ignorant of history, geography and many other subjects?

Dalrymple interviews a student at a university, studying a vocational subject in which arithmetical calculations are often necessary, who cannot multiply six by seven, except by counting it out laboriously on his fingers. Dalrymple comments:

Only the British State could perform this miracle.

And Dalrymple reports that approximately half of the people aged between 16 and 25 whom he encounters in his work as a doctor in a ‘deprived area’ reply to the question,

Are you good at arithmetic?

with a question of their own:

What is arithmetic?

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