Misconceptions about the British and the UK.

Now before anyone starts getting offended, I’m not saying the UK is all doom and gloom. Just as a Brit, I feel like there are some downsides to the UK or some characteristics of people which aren’t neccassarily noticed by foreigners.ย 

The Education System (-mainly secondary education).

The media, particularly films, for some reason influence some people to think Brits recieve such an organised high-quality education. In reality possibly 40% of British schools aren’t fulfilling the expected requirements set out by the government, and the government’s education system isn’t perfectly suitable neither. Sorry to break it to you, but no place of education is like Hogwarts (-well maybe Oxford University, there’s something mysticial about that Historical establishment). Past, present and future students who attend a secondary school in the UK will most likely be able to empathise how frustrating it is when the national curriculum constantly and sometime abruptly chops and changes. One year you have the freedom to select three or so additional subjects to study alongside the compulsory subjects, then the next minute you have to condense your precious exam prearation time to the minimal; just because the government suddenly changes the amount of modules or essays you have to complete in order to obtain the qualification.

In relation to this rant about the British education system, I’d just like to point out that I think it’s extremely ignorant to not allow teenagers to have long enough or frequent PSHE (personal, social and health education) lessons. Now don’t get me wrong, some schools will efficiently provide information for services related to overcoming bullying, how to write a C.V, how to find a work experience placement; but what if PSHE lessons could tackle the stigmas of mental health issues and teenager pregancy instead of repeatedly brain washing us into thinking that going to university is the only step forward after college/sixth-form? I would much rather learn how to recognise and support a peer who might be suffering for a mental health issue than constantly being asked “what do you want to study in higher education?” Besides, most 16-18 years olds don’t know at all or for certain what they want to studying/work as. There’s too many options and most are unhappyily influenced to study something which leads to a direction which they least prefer.

In politeness.

Now this one doesn’t make much sense. Alike our Canadian cousins, Brits are well known for politeness. Yet we can also be the most impolite at least among each other. It’s not uncommon to hear profanities erupting unecassarily toward a teacher who accused their pupil of disrupting the class, to the man/woman who answers a customer help line call, to the cyclist who overtook your car. Whichever the circumstance, swearing is as easily expressed as the word ‘the’. Some may say that ‘those kind of people’ (-the swearers) are from certain ‘backgrounds’, yet I’m yet to be convinced otherwise that DR. such and such is totally in control of the words he/she expresses when enraged.

Continuing with the subject of politeness, is it really in need to push each other without saying ‘excuse me’ at least once? We have voices. Use them.

Criminal justice, or in justice?

Fair enough, the UK is a small country. Obviously there isn’t enough land or funding to build the required amount of prisons, but why should that mean that some criminals get to be free from punishment and self-correction or recieve short prison sentances etc? What about justice for people effected by crimes? Why did so many police officiers become redundant or have their wages changed, just for the government to realise that that we need more police officiers? If budget cuts need to be made, don’t make cuts to the justice system or the national health service.

Quite possibly there are other misconceptions about the British and the UK; though they are minor. I don’t want to leave this on such a bad note, so hopefully I’ll remember to do a follow up to this post about the positive aspects about living in the UK.

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