Illiterate Infantry Recruits

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by Percy, Mar 29, 2004.

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  1. An interesting article by Sean Rayment in the Telegraph highlights the problems of growing illiteracy. Apparently half of new infantry recruits have a reading age of 11 years.

    Problems of illiteracy in the Army are not new but we are less likely to be able to sort it out; previously there were far more junior soldier establishments (that took time out to give formal education alongside military training), we all had more time to spend with our soldiers identifying those with real problems and we had easier access to the Education Corps (as it then was) who would lay on structured remedial teaching.
  2. Percy,

    This isn't news to the Army - it's why all Army Education Centres now have Basic Skills Tutors - specifically recruited to sort these sort of problems out. All soldiers are now supposed to be at Level 1 literacy and numeracy (GCSE Grade G or above - one level higher than the reported 11 year old standard) within 3 years of joining. The Basic Skills Tutors are there to provide the education required to get them to this level. Of course, that does depend on there being time in the unit's programme to release them for this...

    Incidentally, the literacy level of all recruits is now tested in the recruiting office. Anyone who is at Entry Level 1 (the standard of a 5 year old) or below are deferred until they've got themselves up to standard.

  3. MB

    Thanks for this - very educational. How many tutors do you have specifically directed at this role. I know we have Garrison Education Centres - but they seem to be a diminishing resource. Do our soldiers get unfettered access for education?
  4. Every Education Centre has at least one civilian Basic Skills Tutor but in the UK a lot of the teaching is done by local colleges who get contracted in to do it. This means that courses are available on demand from units, usually when and where the unit wants it to take place.

    The soldiers can have all the access they want to advice and education - the biggest problem for them is getting released by their units for this. It's not considered a high priority by units when they've got to deploy or even just find someone to put on the gate at short notice.
  5. Why not just paint a big D on the front of there helmets so we all know they are dum?

    Maybe this is modern technology biting us in the arsse?

    Heard all the tests at the ACIO are now touch screen, could this be the root of all the problems

    There is much more hi tech gadgetery available which surely require a higher level of operator.

    But sadly I dont belive any Tom who has problems with reading and writing knocking on the CSMs door or making it public.
  6. Purple_Flash

    Purple_Flash LE Moderator

    Or until, as happens when quotas have to be met, the kindly recruiting sgt does the test for them. I have a soldier who cannot read a watch, let alone his ROE card. He passed the literacy test easily... mainly due to the fact that he didn't do it.
  7. I thought I heard someone say "Education, education, education" in a speech once but I can't remember who... :roll:

    Seriously though is it me or are the bottom end of our school systems product getting a worse education than they did 50 years ago?
  8. I think u are rite Blandensburg.......bekoss in my day we wuz tawt to read and rite proper so the litersy thingy wuz eesy four us to pass wen me an my mates wanted to join up................ not like those c*nts from Liverpoll who kept animals in the backyards and couldnt pass anyfing cawse at the rekruting orifice they didnt have any eggs to count for em......... so they sent the jeeeeehovas witnesses round to them as they wood take dumb c*nts.
  9. At my unit, we do a basic skills assesment as part of the package designed to bring a new recruit into the regiment. It comes from the AEC and is marked by the platoon bosses. It is then returned to AEC and if required they load said new tom on a course. We have been doing it for about two years and are seeing some really good return off it.
  10. If you can find Army Doctrine and Training News No 19 (it's the latest one or nearly the latest one), you'll find the original piece from an AGC(ETS) Major that highlights the problem and give some scary examples.

    Mrs Boothroyd (when she's not working down 5-mark alley) is a school teacher. She did some evening classes in English for the Garrison most of the course were RGJ, apart from one German wife. She did not use anything that she wouldn't use in her day-job at the local primary school, and still some of them struggled. Remembering that you leave primary school at 11, nothing in the feature was a big surprise.

    Although many of these people have received an education, literacy and numeracy are skills which are just as subject to skill fade as weapon handling, vehicle maintenance, etc. Guys (and gals) communicate heavily by email and txt msg where abbreviation and grammatical shortcuts seem compulsory and lose the skill to write clear coherent English.

    Try giving them work to do yourselves, if you command troops, get them to write a side of lined A4 on what they did this weekend, get them to do it in their own time. I'm sure your local education centre will mark them for you if your own English isn't quite what it could be. Try it you'll be surprised!
  11. :lol: you rang ?
    It's good to know that I'm still in your thoughts and under your skin, tiggers old bean, Oh! such joy! ah well I must go out of my front door as there is a life outside, so toodle pips chum, Starbucks coffee is very nice, I heartly recommend "Café Frappé" on a hot day very refreshing! also "Café Mocha" is a must .
  12. Got the answer to defence cuts then. Tell Blair, Brown and the rest of those tossers that laughingly think they are capable of managing a piss up in a brewery that the Army is one big school. Funds should flood in.
  13. Apparently 58% of new recruits have the equivalent literary ability of an 11 year old. However, the pink on the Basic Skills Tests says that Skills Level 1 is equivalent to GCSE standard, in Maths and English. I can't believe that the ability of our recruits is dropping wholesale, but rather the Army is not seen as a First Choice Employer, and therefore (logically) we don't get the top people.

    But did we ever? I joined the Army with some very sorry cases - and some who couldn't even spell their own name.

    Every AEC has a Basic Skills Tutor, coupled to outstanding IT suites, which usually provide ECDL as a bridge to future development as well.

    This is a situation that we (the Army) can resolve, but it requires sustained effort from the chain of command to ensure that our people (our critical resource) get the very best development we can give them. This means we take the brooms out of their hands, don't give them arrse jobs, and take time to explain the opportunities on offer.

    I know that some units do, but lots don't.

    Apologies, rant over!! :D
  14. even i fail to understand it, during National Sevice in the past many of the soldiers were illiterate and had to be trained up by the Army so it's really nothing new..........