Tuesday, July 19, 2011

For what it's worth

The business-backed New Zealand Institute, which has focused until now on economic policy, says the education system has lost sight of the need to keep young people engaged in school and transition successfully into work.

It recommends radical reforms including widespread use of computer-based e-learning, putting students on to pathways to work from the first year of intermediate school (Year 7), giving employers more input into what schools teach and giving all students career advice through school years and support after leaving school.
Stop children, what's that sound? It's the business elite, trying once again to take over the education system. So the business elite takes any opportunity to denigrate education and demand the involvement of businesses (which exist to make profit, not to teach) in your education.

It works like this: you go to school thinking you will learn to enrich your life, as well as getting a career. The business elite does not want you to learn. It wants you to be trained. That way, you will be useful to businesses. You won't be much else. If you do really well, you can go to business school and be trained to become one of the elite. But otherwise, you at least will have been trained to do a useful job.
The liftman was a small simian creature, dressed in the black tunic of an Epsilon-Minus Semi-Moron.


He flung open the gates. The warm glory of afternoon sunlight made him start and blink his eyes. "Oh, roof!" he repeated in a voice of rapture. He was as though suddenly and joyfully awakened from a dark annihilating stupor. "Roof!"

He smiled up with a kind of doggily expectant adoration into the faces of his passengers. Talking and laughing together, they stepped out into the light. The liftman looked after them.

"Roof?" he said once more, questioningly.

Then a bell rang, and from the ceiling of the lift a loud speaker began, very softly and yet very imperiously, to issue its commands.

"Go down," it said, "go down. Floor Eighteen. Go down, go down. Floor Eighteen. Go down, go …"


Deborah said...

Well said, Paul.

putting students on to pathways to work from the first year of intermediate school (Year 7)

Holy hell. That's the old Form 1, or eleven year olds. Why don't we just make occupations hereditary while we're at it?

Lulu said...

Well, that's pretty much what they do in many parts of the UK, where you start secondary school at 11. What you can study, and consequently your chances of attending a half-way decent university, and by extension the options for your career path, are determined by which secondary school you go to. At 11.

Worse yet, in some parts that decision about which schools are available to you is made on the basis of a test that you take when you're still 10.

Is this perhaps the model that "Business" wants NZ to follow?

Paul Rowe said...

Paul, you missed an opportunity to post this version of For What It's Worth

Paul Rowe said...