Education, Education, Education…Where’s Next?
Yes! We too can repeat that little abstract noun endlessly, until it appears as the inevitable concrete reality of our times. Our good old friend, Tony, once even led (part of, at least) an election on this mantra. Yet some fifteen years later, it still perches tenderly on our ever-soft lips.
So came yesterday (Wednesday 30/11/2011), our ‘nation’s saviours’, those sadomasochists (not in the most accepted form of definition…well at least we hope not), whom we met with that indignant cry of “Miiiiiissss”, “Siiiiirrrr”, walked out of them Buildings of Learning, in protest, over mostly Tory-led pension reforms. Yet one cannot help but feel this rests on much wider dimensions; not only in sheer size (these strikes go far beyond this profession alone), but also in the reasons fuelling their ever-present, undying desire to control a room of 32 hormone-ravaged adolescents.
This isn’t just ‘classroom politics’. Debates rage within certain circles about the nature of the National Curriculum (what we teach them youngsters). What do we want the youth of today to learn; or at least be taught (if we are ever to make such a differentiation)?
Talk rages from the office of the Rt. Hon. Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education (supposedly), about the nature of History; as a school subject…rather than his probably lurid past, full of imaginative tales of debauchery…maybe one day we will sadly come to relish such admissions, like the News of the World (RIP) fantasists we all truly are. For one’s imagination is a crucial dimension to be relished, surely? Mr Gove can be seen exploiting his creativity with his (actually) published writings. See his book: Celsius 7/7, on the roots of Islamic Terrorism. The title resonates with us all. An uncompromising and obvious theft of that ‘chubby American moaner’ Michael Moore, author of Fahrenheit 9/11. And this is the man tasked with leading educational policy…
Yet, what shall we choose to teach our ‘voters of tomorrow’? Perhaps British History someway in line with a man called Nick Griffin and his Band of Merry MenÔ is the likely, yet loathsome destination. A British-centric knowledge allowing our future to learn about all the greats of Britannia…you know we ruled the waves once…before them Mexicans, came over here, stealing our waves, making them their own. We can wonder how this ideologically-powered framework will deal with all them ‘misdemeanours’ (such as Colonialism)…just brush them under the carpet Mr, or Mrs, or Miss, or Ms History Teacher.
Moreover, there is a subject we can all easily ridicule, or possibly believe to be some fictitious pipe-dream of them liberals you get in that society (‘liberals’ with a small ‘l’, of course!). Or maybe it’s some part of that ‘newspeak’ that Orwell bloke wrote about in that book, about that ‘tele’ programme: Big Brother?! Yes, it’s Citizenship! I can hear you now…what? What on earth is that? What will they be teaching them next? Community Studies? How to claim a ‘free’ council flat? Religious Studies? (Oh, yeah, that’s another of them ‘real’ subjects). What a preposterous phenomenon this represents; whatever next…?
Initiated by the Labour Party in 2002, one may wonder, how such ‘leftist-drivel’ has been maintained in our financially-drained schools. The greater, or perhaps greatest (*superlative), crime, however, largely unknown to the vast majority of us, will come from the Tories. They desire to rid our educational institutions of the horror of providing our future generation with the tools to question said government’s drive to privatise this area so central to society’s continuation and well-being.
How, in this modernised, technological age, that we here live in, can a 16-year-old , soon to be eligible to vote, leave their compulsory era of education, without a single ounce (or gram, let’s get with the times: metric, and all) of knowledge about the political system that frames them?
In a summer of devastating riots, the self-disenfranchisement of today’s young people is a fearful prospect, which has not been adequately or appropriately dealt with by the ‘Con-Dem’ Coalition. Punishment is by no stretch of the imagination a road to rehabilitation. People simply don’t care about politics; and that truly is a crying shame. It appears to be a swear word, which even the foulest of mouths daren’t spout.
This is a matter that should be feared: uneducated in this realm, the electorate don’t wish to engage, and the restructuring of certain paths in our educational journey must be judged with great prudence.