NOW that schools are going to be closed for a period of time, we have an opportunity for deep thought on how we emerge leaner and fitter in educational terms from this pandemic.

There should be a serious look at restructuring the school week and school holidays to make them more compliant with the modern day.

Workloads of teachers need closer scrutiny to lessen the stress and prospect of burnout that that is experienced by both staff and pupils.

Why can't we have a school week where the more rigorous academic disciplines take up the mornings while the afternoons are devoted to the aesthetic subjects?

Instead of the mind-numbing concentration upon producing folios of classwork draining the will to live from both teachers and pupils, the total emphasis should be upon the final exams.

It is time the opposition to hard learning was dropped and the focus moved away from the soft area of learning skills without the back-up of hard learning.

Furthermore, maybe we could visualise the giving of equal status to universities and technical colleges as the German system does so that school pupils do not feel driven to apply for universities with the kudos that comes with that today.

This crisis gives us an opportunity for the deep cleansing of our system and tightening up the rigour we used to expect in our school system.

So quit the laissez-faire and soft-focus approaches which are leaving our youngsters at a great disadvantage in this ever more competitive world.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.


I ENJOYED Maureen Sugden's article about rationing and speculation about possible reintroduction given the wartime comparison (Issue of the Day, The Herald, March 19).

My kids are convinced that I held the camels when the Wise Men were visiting Christ (who as you know lived near Dumbarton) when I spoke about rationing. Nowadays the bulk of the population deal in metric units and I thought that the article should have inserted the metric equivalents of the imperial units used. It would have enabled our kids and their kids to make a comparison and wonder how you could survive on less than 200g of sweeties per week. Or indeed 100g of butter and bacon or 340g of sugar per adult per week. As far as I recall, there was little obesity with kids but teeth were eventually in limited supply when sweets came off the ration in February 1953, a date that will live in dental infamy.

Ronald H Oliver, Elie.

Long remembered

I HAVE a wedding photo of my mother's cousin getting married to a sailor. Two weeks later he went off on an Arctic convoy to Murmansk and she never saw him again. I pleased they are at last to get a memorial ("‘Forgotten’ Arctic convoy veterans get Loch Ewe memorial", The Herald, March 17). I at least have not forgotten them.

Myra Gartshore, Dumbarton.

A Google tip

EVIDENCE of Google’s language prowess surfaced when, seeking to dispose of some household junk, I needed to establish the opening hours for the local recycling centre. I simply entered a good old Scottish description, “Balfron coup”, in the Google search box and the correct page appeared at the head of the list … astonishing.

John Moreland, Killearn.