Friday, August 11, 2006

For whom (the school) bell tolls

Travelling broadens views, so does reading. At best you can be as bold as to combine the two. By getting familiar with other cultures and magazines from other countries, you might just be so lucky to fall in love with your native again. A lot of nations have so much that other countries can only dream of.

The Brittish media has expressed concerns about it’s children’s opportunities to learn the difference between wrong and right. Local feature columnists have written extensively about the topic, next to the crisis in Lebanon.

In the past Brittish teachers were obliged to teach children the basics of morality and to combine this with the regular teaching. According to the latest news and changes to the educational culture, the government suggests that it will suffice if teacher encourage the pupils to find their own “safe values and beliefs”. What these safe values and beliefs are is something the teachers are not allowed to tell, because they might be different for each individual.

According to the new plan, pupils will not learn about the Brittish cultural heritage and they will not be called gifted as the government in its infinite wisdom believes that children less gifted will feel discouraged. No pupils are to be encouraged into leadership either.

India Knight, a columnist for The Times says that in the quick rewards society, children believe that success and riches fall to their hands like magic, either through reality TV, or then they just wait for it to happen. The UK is bringing up a generation that will be severely disappointed at an early stage of their adult lives.
Jim Young from the Sunday Express says that he is shocked as he feels that the current educational system requires schools to develop children with teamwork abilities and work for the common good. The new plan outlines that setting requirements like this is not necessary, suggesting that the backbone to community responsibility will be wiped away.
The new plan makes no suggestions to progressive development of creativity as the current, soon to be replaced system does.
The public says that the new plan is the second coming of the class divide. Wealthy people will be placing their children in expensive private schools to secure a better education, leaving the public schools looking duller than ever.
The chase for the American dream is left in the shadow of this dream: A system that will guarantee everyone, rich or poor, the best education and the opportunities the education brings forth. I can’t but help to compare my education with the one that I’ve read intensively about and I must say that I have been in a fortunate position of receiving the best level of education, which for many years was delivered on a dwindling budget. I think this might be the reason why Finns are regarded as hard working and responsible professionals. The type of people you can trust.


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