At the risk of sounding like an old duffer, my incentive for turning up and working hard at school was about doing well, performing as a team player and – God forgive me – winning in a competitive environment.
And whilst I’m pleased that the disincentive for thousands of pupils like me, the slipper, hairbrush or ruler in the teacher’s top drawer is long gone, surely we’re now drifting into madness.
For the Daily Mail, and many other nationals like it, tells us that a sense of achievement or team spirit for many young people no longer a reason to do well. The headline “Behave and you’ll be given a plasma TV, Pupils Told” tells it all.
In a scheme to be introduced over the next two years, pupils will accumulate supermarket-style Vivo ‘reward points’ which can be redeemed for iPods, plasma televisions or PlayStations from an online catalogue.
All they need to do in many cases is just turn up for school or not behave badly when they get there.
Brilliant. So what about when they move into the world of work and find they have to do a damn sight more than just turn up, or they get sacked?