Failed education the main problem

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CHRIS Mason’s letter (News Post Leader, September 6) was essentially a plea to the residents of Ashington. ‘Don’t let the minority drag down the majority of good people’.

Unfortunately, I feel the correspondent fails to fully appreciate the gravity of the situation.

As the result of the welfare state and a rampant dependency culture, Ashington has witnessed a worrying growth in a semi-literate feckless under class.

To shop in Ashington is to be surrounded at every turn by legions of teenage mothers, occasionally accompanied (one must assume) by the biological father(s) of their child(ren).

These family groups are workless and wageless, their children being brought up in poverty by teenage parents who themselves were brought up by teenage parents.

Ashington seems to have a larger number of grandparents in their early 30s, with great-grandparents who are not yet 50-years-old.

Thus the tragedy of life on state benefits multiplies apace and the under class grows as a proportion of the population – an under class of uneducated, aggressive, no hopers whose only achievement is to perpetuate the syndrome of under-achievement, unemployment, poor diet, poor health, bad parenting and a drift into alcohol and drug abuse with attendant deviancy and criminality.

To blame a shortage of jobs is only a small part of the dismal picture.

The underlying root cause of this shocking state of affairs is the philosophy of fatalism that too often infects the hearts and minds of so many people – a narrow, horribly limiting and dismissive contempt for the importance of education and skills.

As our schools start the new academic year we need to leave our young people in no doubt, if you think learning is rubbish and school is an irrelevant waste of time, think again before you join the wandering, feckless, no hopers on the streets of Ashington.

Education is the key to a decent and fulfilling life.

To deny this is to add more lost souls to the ranks of the ever-growing Ashington under class.

T M PATTERSON

Ashington