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14 | GR ADES | OPINION


EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION… Y


Hilary Moriarty refl ects on the perils of allowing grades to have become all that mat ers


ou can’t beat a big sign in a tunnel taking you to an aircraft for being in your face and making you think.


Trapped for a few minutes in one of those tubes from departure lounge to plane before a transatlantic fl ight, I was confronted by many statements about the state of today’s shrinking world and changing commercial possibilities, courtesy of HSBC. Ah, HSBC. Such prosaic initials, but I have


a romantic at achment to HSBC. Many years ago, in my impressionable youth, a renegade cousin upped sticks and left the security of home and family in the north of Ireland, and set off to seek his fortune in Hong Kong. This was so long ago I suspect he went by boat. It certainly sounded hopelessly exotic to a kid cousin in the wilds of North Wales. Whatever. What he landed was a job in the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, the forerunner of HSBC. I’ve had a soft spot for them ever since. And this particular sign was more in my


territory than most. Nothing to do with markets, this simply said that, in the brave new world, “Education will be the wisest investment you can make.” Amen to that, I thought. But hang on – what do we mean by


education? What did HSBC mean? And what did I mean? Not necessarily the same thing, of course. And these days, does it just equate to


Main image © Sandra Cunningham | Dreamstime.com


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