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Yeah, they shouldn't be dongs about it, but I think it's important that teachers give people at least the knowledge (and therefore option) of how to speak without a thick accent.
I'm from West Yorks too (Bradford, fuck off Leeds), and I've worked abroad where people - who are fluent in English - literally can't understand what I'm saying if I speak the same way that I do with me mates. After a couple of years abroad, surrounded by only neutral and foreign accents, I came in contact with a guy with the heaviest Manc accent. My first thought was 'fuck me, he sounds thick'.