Surprisingly, no one knows how many children receive education in English hospitals, still less the content or quality of that education. Proper records are just not kept.
We know that more than 850,000 children go through hospital each year, and that every child of school age has a legal right to continue to receive education while in hospital. We also know there is only one hospital teacher to every 1,000 children in hospital.
?Little wonder the latest survey concludes that the extent and type of hospital teaching available differ a great deal across the country. It is found that half the hospitals in England which admit children have no teacher. A further quarter has only a parttime teacher. The special children’s hospitals in major cities do best; general hospitals in the country and holiday areas are worst off.
From this survey, one can estimate that fewer than one in five children have some contact with a hospital teacher—and that contact may be as little as two hours a day. Most children interviewed were surprised to find a teacher in hospital at all. They had not been prepared for it by parents or their own schools. If there was a teacher they were much more likely to read books and do math or number work; without a teacher they would only play games.
Reasons for hospital teaching range from preventing a child falling behind and maintaining the habit of school to keeping a child occupied, and the latter is often all the teacher can do. The position and influence of many teachers were summed up when parents referred to them as “the library lady” or just “the helper”. Children tend to rely on concerned school friends to keep in touch with school work. Several parents spoke of requests for work being ignored or refused by the school. Once back at school children rarely get extra teaching, and are told to catch up as best they can.
Many shortstay childpatients catch up quickly. But schools do very little to ease the anxiety about those who fall behind expressed by many of the children interviewed.
76. The author points out at the beginning that .
A. every child in hospital can receive education
B. not enough is known about hospital teaching
C. hospital teaching is of unknown quality
D. the special children’s hospitals are worst off
77. It can be inferred from the latest survey that .
A. hospital teaching is not available
B. each hospital has at least one parttime teacher
C. all hospitals surveyed offer education to children
D. only onefourth of the hospitals have parttime teachers
78. Children in hospital usually turn to in order to catch up with their school work.
A. hospital teachersB. schoolmates
C. parentsD. school teachers
79. We can conclude from the passage that the author is .
A. unfavorable towards children receiving education in hospitals
B. in favor of the present state of teaching in hospitals
C. unsatisfied with the present state of hospital teaching
D. satisfied with the results of the latest survey
80. If there is a teacher available in the hospital, a child tend to.