Mercy Muroki: Asking for good grammar in universities is not discriminatory
'Expecting disadvantaged students to use a high standard of English does not alienate them in the classroom'
The universities watchdog has said that too many universities are ignoring poor grammar and spelling in an attempt to be ‘inclusive’.
According to the Office for Students, the independent regulator of higher education in England, some universities are disregarding poor English and bad grammar in exams and essays because they think insisting on good English is discriminatory.
To who? Well, essentially, to foreign students, poor kids, and ethnic minorities.
Or... in other words – the holier-than-thou, virtue- signalling, comrades of academia think poor kids and black kids are too inept to learn to spell properly.
This, no doubt, comes from the same ilk of so-called intellectuals who have criticised a London school this week for stopping its pupils from using slang words in the classroom.
The principal of Ark All Saints academy has asked pupils to refrain from using slang words in lessons and in their work to – quote – “help students understand the importance of expressing themselves clearly and accurately” in formal settings. Perfectly reasonable, if you ask me.
Critics, however, say stopping children from using terms like ‘bare sick’, stopping them from saying ‘basicalllyy’ at the beginning of every sentence, and like, not saying the word like after like every two words is ‘alienating students from different cultures'.
By the way, this is probably the same variety of virtue-signallers who think black kids shouldn’t be expected to learn classical music, and should instead settle for learning about rap music about guns, weed, and twerking women.
Now, I like rap music, and I use a lot of slang myself, in social settings. That's not the point.
As someone who is a foreigner, who did have to learn English from scratch, and who grew up with deprived kids, I find all of this deeply offensive.
Why should it be set of standards the white private school kids of leafy suburbia, and another for children who look like me?
Why should linguistic riguour and educational standards be the reserve of the well-to-do Hugos and Poppy’s of this world?
Expecting disadvantaged students to use a high standard of English does not alienate them in the classroom.
Poor speaking and writing skills sure will alienate them from a competitive job market where a badly written CV is enough to instantly disqualify you for a role.
If those advocating this way of thinking truly care about 'inclusivity', they should stop excluding disadvantage students from the high expectations they would have for their own middle class kids.