According to the latest report by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, over 90% of school children in the UK have reported being bullied during their time at school. More than a quarter of students have reported that they have deliberately performed badly in order to hide their talents so that they would not get bullied. This confirms what many of us have observed over the decades about the culture in the UK (and also in the USA) of mocking, taunting, belittling and bullying bright students who are dilligent in their studies. This is not the same in other countries. In Germany, India and China bright students are praised and respected for doing well in their studies and working hard and applying themselves.

Cultures change slowly, and politicians and leaders are less effective at ordering people to change their attitudes and behaviours as they are at punishing, labelling and fining people for behaving in ways different to their wishes. The impetus for change in culture needs to come from influential people outside the government and then the message needs to be reenforced by those who weild power.

The culture and attitudes towards smoking has been successfully changed in this country. It took efforts by governments, sports personalities and celebrities in many fields as well as the continuous mesages from people in the health field. The change took decades, but in the end is a commendable achievement of the UK people that other countries can learn from.

If we make similar efforts to change the attitudes and behaviour towards smart and dilligent children. Recognising, praising and respecting them and their hard word rather than labelling them and teasing them then not only will the studious children and their families benefit, but the whole country will benefit in terms of economy, technological advances and many other ways.