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Schoolchildren can use an iPhone but cannot tie their shoelaces, poll finds


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MANY schoolchildren are more confident using a DVD player or iPhone than tying their shoelaces, research claims

As many as 45 per cent of children aged between five and 13 can't tie their shoe laces - but 67 per cent can work a DVD player, according to a poll.

The study showed a large proportion can log on to the internet, play on computer games, use an iPhone or iPad and work satellite television services like Sky Plus.

But 65 per cent can't make a cup of tea, while 81 per cent can't read a map and 87 per cent wouldn't be able to repair a bicycle puncture.

Research also showed a large proportion were sadly lacking in knowledge about the great outdoors.

As many as 63 per cent wouldn't know how to build a den, while 59 per cent can't even climb a tree.

A further 79 per cent have no idea how to put up a tent, while 78 per cent can't build a camp fire.

And when asked if they cared about the environment a third said 'no' - with half of these saying it was because 'in the future we'll be able to live in space."

Survival expert Ray Mears said he was shocked by the findings, from electricity provider npower.

He added: "I can't believe our young people are so ill-equipped when it comes to practical skills.

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"When I was growing up, I was told 'You don't need equipment, you need knowledge to survive in the wild' and this is something that I truly believe.

"Simple skills like putting up a tent can teach you important lessons that can't be learnt without doing them yourself.

"You learn how to work in a team and communicate with your peers as well as how to work under pressure and use logic.

"Most importantly, you also learn how to look after yourself and know your strengths."

In response to the research, npower has launched a new educational programme, called Climate Cops SOS.

Working with Mr Mears, the company hopes to inject a passion for the great outdoors back in to the heart of the country's children.

Clare McDougall, from npower, said: "These figures show that there has never been a better time to teach our young people some great new skills.

"We really believe that if young people spend more time outdoors they will learn to love and respect the environment and they'll want to preserve it for future generations."


1 Work a DVD player - 67 per cent

2 Log onto the internet - 58 per cent

3 Play computer games on games console (wii, Xbox or similar) - 50 per cent

4 Make a phone call - 46 per cent

5 Use a handheld games console (Nintendo DSi, PSP or similar) - 45 per cent

6 Use an iPhone (or smartphone) - 42 per cent

7 Work Sky Plus - 41 per cent

8 Send a text message - 38 per cent

9 Search for clips on YouTube - 37 per cent

10 Use an iPad (or tablet computer) - 31 per cent


1 Recognise three types of butterfly - 91 per cent

2 Repair a puncture - 87 per cent

3 Tie a reef knot - 83 per cent

4 Read a map - 81 per cent

5 Build a camp fire - 78 per cent / Put up a tent 78.5 per cent

6 Spot a blackbird, sparrow or robin - 71 per cent

7 Make papier mâché - 72 per cent

8 Make a cup of tea - 65 per cent

9 Build a den - 63 per cent

10 Climb a tree - 59 per cent

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