Having a daily meal with fellow students can be a valuable education.

Posted 12 Jul 2013 by Walaa Idris

I think the new plans that all primary school pupils could receive free lunches, sit and eat them together is a fantastic proposition. And no, that is not being socialist or liberal, condescending to parents or wasting government resources. It simply makes good common sense.

Primary education is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s the first, basic teaching where crucial learning begins – or should. Simply put it’s the most important teaching of any child’s life and a vital time to set the foundation for a sound education to build on for the future.

As we all know, eating and meals do more than just nourish our body giving it the nutrients it needs to prepare it and our minds to learn. They are also a social setting for studying basic socialising habits. While some might say that is the parents’ domain – and I would agree with them. It is nonetheless an important time to learn the basic fundamentals of mixing with others. Similar to other learning, it can start at school and like homework get practiced, polished and honed at home.

Meal time can also allow teachers and educators to observe students at an early stage in a non-teaching setting which could help them with identifying learning issues that might be missed in a classroom setting. Thus allowing them to spot and consequently address any potential challenges.

I also like the idea of banning kids from leaving school grounds during lunch time. As it minimises truancy, disruption to students and other businesses in the area, plus it increases safety and security.

Most critics will see this proposal as government interfering and overreaching its boundaries but it should be seem for what it is. A fantastic opportunity, that allows children from all backgrounds develop positive socialising habits from a very early age.


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Good, bad, white, black, when is a lie not a lie?

Posted 26 Feb 2013 by Walaa Idris

Julia Hartley - Brewer

Earlier today on LBC 97.3 – Julia Hartley-Brewer was discussing parents who use their friends or relatives addresses in good catchment areas to get their kids in the best possible schools. She told listeners, fortunately she did not need to resort to it, but would’ve to give her kid the best possible start in life. And, she understands and applauds those who do, because parents who want the best for their kids will do anything. Really, anything, isn’t that too broad?

The five minutes listening I spend before getting to my destination stayed with me and got me thinking….

From personal experience, I feel responsible as a parent for teaching my kids good morals and educate them about right and wrong. I did it while keeping my fingers crossed that they don’t befriend some idiot who undoes it all before they are old enough to understand and appreciate it.

So the idea of having to explain or justify a lie to them is something I am glad so far I never needed to do. That is why I was surprised to hear so many callers be very casual about lying to get a place for their child under the umbrella of ‘it’s his/her future’. Maybe I am chicken, but I’ll be too scared to get caught and humiliate my kids and myself, or worse face some kind of legal punishment.

I know life can be unfair sometimes, but when is a lie not a lie, and where do we draw the line?


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Winners and losers ~ May 10, 2011

Posted 10 May 2011 by Walaa Idris

Winners and Losers

Today’s winner is David Willetts for seeing an opportunity and seizing it. His proposal for good Universities and Colleges to charge those who can “afford” to pay thus freeing up more aided spaces for those who can’t makes perfect logic for those of us who see and employ common sense. Of course true to form there are those, mainly on the left, who will only see this move as rich kids being allowed to receive the best education money can buy!! Fact is they do and if the UK does not take their money, guess what, other countries will. So why don’t we then benefit our own pupils from it, and use the money to subside those bright sparks who need it.

All this talking about going back to a time when “breeding not brains” mattered is frankly nauseating to say the least and juvenile at best.

My personal opinion on tattoos is very old fashioned, but then I am a Conservative. However, many people like tattoos and have them, and as long as they are not too large or visible they rarely lose their owners their job, or stop them from gaining employment. Nevertheless, in certain industries and profession sporting one can be a problem.

So when I read Jobcentre staff can at their discretion allow tattooed jobseekers to receive taxpayer – funded removal treatment, initially I had mixed feelings, but came to the conclusion that it was a bad idea. It seems, as hard as we try to move away from the nanny state and as hard as we try to reeducate ourselves about personal responsibility – we still keep slipping back into the bosoms of the state. After 13 years of socialist rule and total dependency on the kingdom it is proving to be very, very difficult to wean ourselves form it!

And, although the idea of helping people back to work, by all means possible, is admirable not to mention practical – and I’ll be the first to point out the psychological benefits of both – yet still belief we are sending the wrong message.

I would rather see our teens and young people better informed and prepared for the life before them and teach them responsibility of their actions and how to think long term. There is nothing wrong with having body art but where and what size dictates many things – I rather they are better equipped to take and make the right decision than not – because if they made the wrong one or need be government will sort it.


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Leave Harris alone!

Posted 22 Nov 2010 by Walaa Idris

Tom Harris might not be blogging, but I am happy to see that he is still giving us lively and interesting debates. This tweet yesterday has caused an avalanche of retweets and replays on Twitter. As expected there are those who feel good grammar and correct spelling, me included, are very important. Although my spelling is not that great and my grammar is hit and miss sometimes – that’s why I make it a point any important work is looked over by someone else – because the only time I braved it alone, the results were dire, but this in not about me.

Those attacking Tom are saying “what if I am dyslexic”, what if; dyslexia is either a word or numbers dyslexia. If its words dyslexia then obviously a job were writing letters, reports and press releases in nanoseconds all day long is not appropriate, the same applies to a person who has trouble with numbers, they will not enjoy accounting or have fun crunching figures all day!

This attitude, brought in by the last government, Tom’s government I would like to add, where equality and political correctness are rife, is the reason those who clearly are incapable of doing a job feel discriminated against when common sense simply says there are other jobs they’ll be happier and more fulfilled doing because they will finish the day with a sense of achievement, not frustration because the boss corrected them six times before lunch and asked them to finish the day tidying the stock cupboard.

Tom is right, so please lay off him, if for nothing else just because he was honest. Many employers bin CVs with bad grammar and spelling and never even admit it!

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Nice is Nuts!

Posted 22 Sep 2010 by Walaa Idris

Nice, the health watchdog, wants to introduce ante natal classes, in schools, to teenage pregnant mums due to their lack of knowledge of how or where to go to receive help and advice – and to laminate the discomfort some teen mums feel when they attend normal pregnancy clinics or their GP!

Lack of knowledge, I can empathise with but feeling awkward and out of place I have very little sympathy for!

For a country that has the highest number of teenage pregnancy in the developed world, Nice’s proposal is simply bonkers, not only does it come at a time where the country needs to economise and prioritise its resources. But it simply sends out the wrong message and normalise a crises, that we, as a country, need to get to grips with not encourage.

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