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College putting soaps on the curriculum

Sad antics of morons elevated to academia

New soap operas course could lead students to university.

Mark Travis

HOW do you fancy putting your feet up and watching soap operas all day?
If that sounds like your cup of tea, get yourself along to Tameside College!
For the college is the first North West centre to run a specialist soap opera course. Entitled 'Society Through Soaps', the 10-week course leads to a qualification in the nation's favourite addiction.
The qualification is called the Greater Manchester open credit federation credit one. Students who carry on to complete credits two and three can even go onto university.
Telephone lines at the Beaufort Road centre, in Ashton have been red-hot, with would-be students wishing to find out what makes a good and bad soap star.

You'd better pick a brain cell or two : Fagan
Course Organiser Eric Fagan

Course organiser Eric Fagan said: "We have had lots and lots of interest by word of mouth from people in Tameside and Manchester."
The 'innovate and informal' classes will be about realism in soaps. "We will be looking at the way characters are shown and whether events show life as it is," he added.
No previous qualifications are needed just 'an interest in soaps and willingness to join in'.

"We are hoping to attract like-minded adults who have not been in education for a while who have interests in these shows Eric said .
"The aim of this is to bring them into education and, after credit one they can graduate to level two and after level three they could go to university."

He added that if there is enough interest, the television course could continue onto level two and three.
"By the end, we hope our participants will have developed the confidence and skills to tackle whatever subject they fancy in the future," he said.

"I'm sure members of the programme will enjoy talking as much about the course as they do their favourite soaps!"
No start date has been decided yet but Corrie-watchers can ring Eric Fagan on 908 6731 or Lynn Jones on 908 6734 as places are still available.

Keep soaps out of the college

SIR - Re: 'College putting soaps on the curriculum' (The Advertiser 17/9/98). I was appalled to read Tameside College is to run a soap opera course instigated by Eric Fagan.
I would like to ask Mr Fagan what service he thinks he is rendering society by elevating TV soap characters to a level where they just don't belong?
Soap operas are followed with religious zeal, and as such they are the opiate of the masses. Soap operas are not educational and are not even basically literate, and the idea that someone could get a diploma in them and go on to university is totally reprehensible.
Standards have already dropped in education and Mr Fagan is just adding to the burden in a very insidious fashion.
How long is it before someone could get a diploma in the kinds of beefburgers available from McDonalds? Soaps are not real, they are entertainment, and even in this role they are given far too much attention, and providing the images that set social norms.
Putting an educational seal of approval on these programmes is a slur on those people who work hard with difficult 'real' subject matter to attain valuable certificate.
DL Borrell, Ashton

SIR - Re: 'Keep soaps out of the college' (Readers' views, 1/10/98). I read with interest a reader's letter concerning Tameside College's decision to run a course on the study of soap operas.
I am a sixth form student and began my A Level courses in September. One of the subjects I have taken is English literature. I am finding the subject extremely enjoyable, as well as intellectually stimulating. I am certainly aware that English Literature is well respected both as an A Level and a degree course at university.
This, however, was not always the case. When English literature was first introduced as a subject to study, many people were aghast at the idea. Literature was seen to exist for entertainment purposes, as soap operas do today, and for some time studying English literature was seen as a 'soft option'.
Eventually it was accepted by society and became the respectable course it is today. The views expressed in the letter must have been shared by many when English literature was introduced. I will be very interested to observe whether in the future a qualification - possibly even a degree - in soap opera study will be generally respected. I suspect that eventually it will.
Gemma Beech,Stalybridge.

Silencing dissent in Academia





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The Advertiser 17/9/1998 File Info: Created 1/9/2000 Updated 31/5/2002 Page Address: